Ganassi Looks For Reversal Of Fortune In NASCAR

Concord, NC – After having both his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams finish well below expectations in 2011, team owner Chip Ganassi is looking for something different.

While he has fielding championship teams in the IndyCar and the Grand-Am Rolex Series, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has always been a tough nut to crack for Ganassi.

Optimism was high coming off a 2010 season that included Jamie McMurray winning three huge races, the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and the fall Charlotte Motor Speedway event. Juan Pablo Montoya added to the win column for the team with a victory at Watkins Glen.

Optimism turned into disappointment as neither team finished in the top 20 in the final season standings, results Ganassi called “pathetic”.

“I was so excited,” McMurray said about the 2011 season. “Our season [2011] started out ok and slowly got worse. Chip made a lot of good changes and brought a lot of new people in. I think our excitement [for 2012] comes from the changes we made.

“It was a combination of 40 people not doing a good job,” explained co-owner Felix Sabates. “You just can’t put your finger on it. When you gotta make a change, you gotta make a big change, and that’s what we did. It’s time for us to put up or shut up. We are doing the right thing.”

The writing was on the wall when Montoya was not competitive at Infinion Raceway, a track he excels on.

“When you go to a road course and Montoya is running 28th and there are no car problems, that tells you there is something wrong,” said Sabates. “I think that might have been the eye opener for Chip.”

One thing that is going well for the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates organization is sponsorship. Ganassi announced that there is all primary sponsorship on the team’s Chevrolet Impalas has been sold. Joining long time partners Target, McDonalds and Bass Pro Shops are LiftMaster, returning from last year, and new sponsors Belkin and Banana Boat on McMurray’s #1 Chevy.

“How about my sales team? There are no primary placings available on our cars,” Ganassi said. “They’ve brought back (our current sponsors) and brought these new people to the sport. I want to give a call out to our sales guys. What a great job they’ve done.”

With sponsorship in place, it is now up to the teams to “put up”.

Watch for more reports from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway this week as NASCAR gets ready to kick off the 2012 season with the Daytona 500. Thanks to Sprint, NASCAR and the Charlotte Motor Speedway staff for their organization and sponsorship of the Media Tour.

Share Button