Chip Ganassi and Rob Kauffman met with media and discussed their new partnership, a partial transcript:
ON HIS PARTNERS
CHIP GANASSI: "It's a good opportunity for Chip Ganassi and Chip Ganassi Racing to have partners like Rob (Kauffman) and Felix (Sabates). From my point of view, Rob wanted to stay in the sport and this was a good opportunity for him to do that. We both have shared interest in lots of different kinds of cars and I think that's probably what brought us together. And I think it's obvious that Rob has skillsets I don't have and maybe vice-versa. So, it seemed to work well."
Q) IS ROB KAUFFMAN A PARTNER IN THE WHOLE ORGANIZATION, OR JUST NASCAR?
GANASSI: "Right now, it's NASCAR and Sports Car. We're trying to get him interested in IndyCar racing."
Q) HOW DO YOU LIKE WORKING WITH CHIP GANASSI?
ROB KAUFFMAN: "It's just really worked out well. I think at the end of the day, I'm a car guy who has been okay in business. The interesting thing about partnering with Chip is he's a racer that's created an actual racing business. He's one of the few people who's been successful in running racing as a business. If you look up the word racer in the dictionary, his picture is often there. And so for me, I think it's a good combination. I'm not the guy to figure out arrangements for aerodynamics to make the cars faster, but hopefully together we can have even more success, especially on the Cup side."
ROB KAUFFMAN: "We've thought about it. It didn't really work out for potentially bringing over the #15 or something like that, with Clint (Bowyer), but that didn't really work out. The way that system works is you have to run the cars. We're a two-car team. And we have two charters that we need. So that's really all that made sense to that.
ROB KAUFFMAN: "Remember that only brings about 25% of the budget you need to really run a competitive car, so it's that pesky 75 percent that costs you all the money if you don't have a sponsor. And there's of course the driver, the staff, and everything that goes along with it. So, the Charter stuff is really just a means to an end; not an end in itself. So, really the important thing is to have a solid racing business, which Chip has had for many years, and I'm proud to be a partner in that. And, hopefully I can bring some added resources and skills to the equation. But Chip has done a great job winning championships and races. His organization doesn't need my help to do that, which is great; and I can hopefully be an investor and a participant and hopefully help with more success."
Q) WHAT'S THE NEXT THING YOU'RE WORKING ON?
ROB KAUFFMAN: "Well, there's no shortage of things to do, I think, with the team itself. Chip and I, now that the little franchise project is done, and now working, Chip and I cannot focus a little bit more and try to work on developing the team and just get to know everybody and how I can contribute, really. With the RTA we have a number of projects underway just to kind of follow on. It fairly resembles a job now."
Q) WILL THERE BE ANY IMPACT ON THE WOOD BROTHERS WITHDRAWING FROM THE RTA?
ROB KAUFFMAN: "No, not at all. It's totally on good terms that make sense. The RTA is really about full-time teams and really it'll probably be Charter Teams only going forward. But they're great guys. When we talked to them the other day they gave me one of their metals when I was here and I would bet they will have a Charter sooner rather than later and rejoin and be part of it because then you have a say in what's going on and a more formal role as opposed to not being on the outside looking in." Team Chevy