Brian Carroccio and Pete McCole spoke with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams owner Chip Ganassi here at Richmond International Raceway before this evening's Federated Auto Parts 400. Below, are a few highlights from our discussion with Ganassi.
AR1: First off, congratulations on winning the IndyCar championship two weeks ago at Sonoma. Also, how are you? (Ganassi broke his clavicle last weekend)
Chip Ganassi: I'm fine.
AR1: There have been some rumors about IndyCar, X1 and Sim racing. Do you have any thoughts on that?
CG: I only know what I read on AR1, you know….I don't know anybody involved in it, I don't have any details, I wish I could help you out.
AR1: There has also been a rumor that you might be involved with an effort to purchase the series as well…
CG: I don't know where that rumor started either, but that was a good one. At least X1 might have some legs, I can assure you the other one has no legs."
AR1: Would you like to see someone come in and try to take control of the series?
CG: I don't know if that would be the ultimate answer. It depends who it is and what they want to do. I think there are some positive things going on right now with the TV ratings up, there seems to be some excitement around the series, manufacturers seem like they're happy.
AR1: You brought up manufacturers for IndyCar. Have you secured your engine manufacturer for 2016? (Recall this AR1 rumor from last month)
CG: That's none of your business. I don't talk about that stuff with you guys, don't take it personally.
AR1: Going back to Sonoma a couple of weeks, I noticed you seemed to have the drivers all on different strategies. Was there any plan going into the race to help Dixon out?
CG: Look, I think it's obvious that the other guys if they could have helped Dixon, would have wanted to. But the worst thing you can do is make a plan, because no one's plans work if the yellows fall a certain way. Everyone ran their own race and knew what they had to do. I thought it was most interesting that Saavedra led laps, and got that point for leading laps. Arguably, that helped Dixon lead the most laps.
|Chip Ganassi was very complimentary of Sebastian Saavedra|
AR1: I thought Saavedra did well in limited action this year. Could you elaborate on how Saavedra did and how he impressed the team.
CG: Yeah, I thought he did a great job. There's a guy who has a lot of talent, doesn't get in trouble and seems to do a great job. He's a talent that other teams should be looking at him if they're not already. I don't want them to look too good at them, but he's certainly a talent."
AR1: With tonight's race, you have the possibility of weather in the area, you see some any crazy pit strategies coming on late in the race.
CG: I don't think it’s going to be late in the race, it will be all during the race. Guys are going to want to try things; guys that haven't won races they got nothing to lose tonight?
AR1: So, you don't want your guys taking it easy tonight…
CG: Hell no! I want to see them do whatever it takes to win. Call the race to win, don't call the race to finish 8th.
AR1: Thank you for the time, and best of luck tonight.
CG: Thank you.