|Chip Ganassi with some of his trophies|
Chip Ganassi, one of the most successful owners in all of auto racing, will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) at the 28th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony, later today at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach, Fla. Ganassi is joined in the Hall of Fame class by fellow NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, NHRA announcer Dave McClelland and racer and broadcaster Sam Posey. Also being inducted posthumously will be AMA dirt-track motorcycle racer Everett Brashear, land-speed racer Gary Gabelich and 1955 Indianapolis 500 winner Bob Sweikert.
Notes of Interest:
- Winning the Big Ones: Ganassi is the only car owner in history to have won the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, the Brickyard 400 in addition to adding the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this month. Between February 2010 and January 2011, his teams swept the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 followed by wins at the Brickyard 400 and the Rolex 24 At Daytona, giving him an unprecedented “Grand Slam" in America’s major auto races. Overall, his teams have won 18 championships and 175 races. His open-wheel teams have amassed 11 championships and more than 100 victories, including five in the Indianapolis 500. His NASCAR teams have 17 victories including wins in the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. In addition to his recent win at Le Mans, his sports car teams have a record six Rolex 24 At Daytona victories to complement their seven WeatherTech Sports Car Series championships.
- One Team: Ganassi’s teams include four cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, two in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, two factory Ford GTs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, two factory Ford GTs in the FIA World Endurance Championship and two Supercars in Red Bull Global Rallycross. In all he runs 14 cars in six different touring series. His current driver lineup boasts 18 drivers from seven different countries.
- Ganassi on the Track: Before becoming one of the most successful team owners in American racing history, Ganassi raced himself. He competed in the Indianapolis 500 five times with a best finish of eighth in 1983. Ganassi also made 27 career Indy car starts, scoring a best finish of second in Cleveland in 1984.
Mario Andretti, Racing Legend – “I’ve known Chip since he was driving Formula Fords in the early 80s. As he transitioned to team ownership, the motorsports world watched him reach the pinnacle of the sport by winning in all the major categories that he entered. In my eyes, that makes him an icon. His contributions to our sport are immense. He’s a tremendous competitor and also a great friend."
Jim Campbell, U.S. VP, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, General Motors – “Chip is a racer, a championship team owner, and importantly, he’s a partner and friend of Chevrolet. He leads his team from competitive and business perspectives. The longevity of his business along with dozens of championships and marquee race wins is impressive. He has an incredible ability to attract talent and put people in the right positions to create team chemistry with a sole focus on winning. It’s a lot more fun racing with Chip Ganassi than it is against him."
Scott Dixon, Verizon IndyCar Series Driver, No. 9 Target Chevrolet – "It's impressive what Chip has been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. He started his team in the early 90s and has grown it across multiple series. Just this month he added another big win to the list with a historic victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. I love Chip's competitive nature and I'm proud to have driven for the same team basically my entire career. This honor is well deserved and I hope we get to share many more trips to victory lane together in the future."
AJ Foyt, Racing Legend – "Chip's been a lot better owner than he was a driver. Seriously though, he's been good for racing and a strong supporter of the sport. His teams have won the major races in INDYCAR and NASCAR so I think he deserves to be in there."
Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO – “Chip Ganassi has had a positive impact on our sport for decades, as both a driver and owner, and on behalf of the entire NASCAR family we would like to congratulate him on being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. As one of our most innovative and forward-thinking owners, Chip is a great ambassador and is doing a fantastic job developing one of NASCAR’s rising stars in Kyle Larson. We thank him for his commitment to NASCAR and wish him and his team continued success following this tremendous honor."
Jim France, IMSA and International Speedway Corporation Chairman – “It’s appropriate that the first Motorsports Hall of Fame of America induction ceremony in Daytona Beach includes Chip Ganassi. Chip’s teams have won the Rolex 24 At Daytona six times and the Daytona 500 in 2010 alongside all of the big races over the years – Charlotte, Sebring, Indianapolis and just a couple of weeks ago at Le Mans. Add to that his six Daytona Prototype championships and 11 INDYCAR championships and it’s clear that Chip has plenty of credentials to be called a ‘Hall of Famer.’ Congratulations, Chip, on a fantastic career so far and here’s to many more years of success."
Dario Franchitti, Racing Legend – "It’s great to see Chip being honored. It’s well deserved. His accomplishments are really second to none. Winning the Daytona 500, Indy 500, Rolex 24, Sebring, Brickyard and now Le Mans, is simply incredible. As a driver, you want to drive for Chip because he gives the team everything it needs to do the job, and expects results. It’s been an absolute pleasure to drive for him."
Jeff Gordon, Racing Legend – "Chip is a great businessman and he is the definition of a racer. It doesn't matter what series, whether it's the Indianapolis 500 or the Brickyard 400, whether it's the Daytona 500 or the 24 Hours of Daytona, or Le Mans, Chip's teams will be battling for the win. It takes a great leader to accomplish the impressive victory resume he has. Chip is a very deserving honoree."
Joey Hand, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Driver, No. 66 Ford GT – “Ever since I was a kid racing in the lower levels of open-wheel, I would watch Chip Ganassi and his teams and always said ‘I want to drive for him one day’. Luckily for me that dream came true and I'm a Chip Ganassi Racing driver! We all know that Chip likes winners and he has a knack for picking out winners. The thing about Chip is he gives all his people, including his drivers, what they need to win, and many times, the words of wisdom to go out and make it happen. It's amazing to me how Chip has assembled so many great people across so many different series and attained championships. There is a reason why he is one of the most famous names in racing and I am very proud to be one of his drivers! He absolutely deserves to be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America!"
Mike Hull, Managing Director, Chip Ganassi Racing – "Chip Ganassi has taught us that the mere mortal's horizontal landscape is driven to a supersonic vertical climb when everyone in the room is reminded to act as one. His demeanor of a daily defined priority helps us climb as one. The amazing thing is that it's usually accomplished by just one well-placed Chip sentence."
Tony Kanaan, Verizon IndyCar Series Driver, No. 10 NTT DATA Chevrolet – "You can't think of Indy car racing without Chip's name and his organization coming to mind. He has been a pioneer for the whole world of motorsports and he has turned his organization into such a powerhouse across so many different series. I've had the pleasure of watching Chip's team grow into what it is today over the years and it's nothing short of impressive. It's really been an honor to have the opportunity to drive for Chip and I can't think of anyone more deserving of being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame."
Charlie Kimball, Verizon IndyCar Series Driver, No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet – “The opportunity to drive for Chip Ganassi has been a dream come true, especially starting in my rookie year of the Verizon IndyCar Series. One of the greatest things about Chip is his competitiveness. He wants to win no matter what and make sure that his teams have the tools to win. The fact that he's being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame is a very deserved honor. His accomplishments with winning the Daytona 24 Hours, the Brickyard, and the Indianapolis 500 all in the same year is pretty incredible and then most recently putting a team together to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. You talk about the crown jewels of racing and none of those conversations happen without Chip Ganassi Racing being brought up."
Steve Lauletta, President, Chip Ganassi Racing – "Chip's racing acumen has been well chronicled throughout his illustrious career but what I think is just as impressive is how innovative of a businessman that he is. Just as he understands what it takes to win on the track he also understands better than most what it takes to win off the track by delivering value to his team's partners. Based on that it's no surprise that he has been able to cultivate many long-term mutually beneficial partnerships with them. He is deserving of induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at so many levels."
Jamie McMurray, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver, No. 1 CESSNA/McDonald’s Chevrolet – "I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity in my career to work with such a successful team owner. When you look at Chip's accomplishments over his career it is just amazing. I have had the chance to win some huge races with Chip and I am extremely proud to not only have him as my boss, but to call him my friend. It is fitting for Chip to be recognized with this honor less than two weeks after adding another iconic victory to his already impressive resume, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans".
Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – “On behalf of everybody at the Verizon IndyCar Series we’d like to congratulate Chip Ganassi on his induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. Chip’s success on the track across so many different racing disciplines is a testament to his leadership as a team owner and the quality and talent of his drivers and personnel. We’re deeply grateful for his enormous contributions to INDYCAR over the years and applaud him for this deserving honor."
Raj Nair, EVP, Product Development and Chief Technical Officer, Ford Motor Company – “Celebrating our victory with the Ford GT at Le Mans with Chip is a moment that I'll never forget. That passion to win is what has driven him to success in every form of motorsport that he's chosen to participate in. I feel lucky to call Chip a colleague and friend. Congratulations on a well-deserved induction in the Motorsports Hall of Fame and remember to smile!"
Roger Penske, NASCAR and INDYCAR Team Owner – “Congratulations to Chip Ganassi on his induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. When you look back at how Chip transitioned from being a driver to a team owner and how he has built his organization into one of the top teams across all levels of motorsports – it certainly is remarkable. From INDYCAR to NASCAR to Sports Car competition, Chip Ganassi Racing has really raised the bar in all of those disciplines and the consistent performance of their teams has been very impressive over the years. We know that drive to succeed starts at the top with Chip. I am proud to call him a friend and a competitor and he is very deserving of this special honor."
Don Prudhomme, Drag Racing Legend – “When you are a friend of Chip’s, he takes you on the racing journey with him – whether it is the Indy 500, Le Mans or a NASCAR event. Despite all that he is involved in, he is never too busy to answer his phone when you call and when he says ‘let’s go to dinner’ you are in for a great evening."
Scott Pruett, Sports Car Racing Legend – "I’ve always said, with all the great accomplishments in motorsports it was only a matter of time until Chip was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. I'm proud to have played a part in some of his motorsports success and I'm so happy for him – a man who has dedicated himself to the sport. Congratulations Chip!!!"
Felix Sabates, Chip Ganassi Racing Co-Owner – “It has been a great partnership for 16 years – a Cuban NASCAR owner and an open wheel young man from Pittsburgh, what were the odds we would still be together and enjoying a great partnership? Besides I will be able to tell my great grandkids that grandpa's teams won the Daytona 500, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and as a bonus the Brickyard 400, THANKS CHIP."