Chip Ganassi Racing

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Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is an automotive racing organizations with teams currently running in the Nascar, Indy Racing League and Grand-Am Racing. As you figured, the team is owned by Chip Ganassi and Felix Bates. Floyd "Chip" Ganassi, born May 24th 1958 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a former American racecar driver while his associate Felix Sabates is an Cuban entrepreneur and philanthropist currently living in the United States.

The team was formed in 1989 by Felix Sabates and was known as Team Sabco or Sabco Racing. The partnership between Sabates and Ganassi began in 2001 when Floyd "Chip" Ganassi bought in 80% of the team.

The #39 car made its debut in 2003 at Watkins Glen with Scott Pruett as the official driver. Pruett had a great race due to the fact that he started 28th and finished on the second position. After this Pruett appeared in 2004 and 2005 at Infineon where he obtained 3rd and 31st positions. He also tried to qualify for The Glen but he failed. Pruett was replaced by Bill Elliot in 2005 due to the fact that his car was unavailable.

Chip Ganassi Racing

Then David Stremme drove the car for seven races. In 2006 Casey Mears was going to drive the car in full time with sponsorship from Home123 but it was later announced that he would drive the #42 car. The #39 car returned as the #30 with sponsorship from Havoline and also with a big surprise: Juan Pablo Montoya was announced as the official driver of the team. Montoya made its debut at the Ford 400 event in 2006 but he was involved in a crash after a hard contact with Ryan Newman. This was the last time when the car ran in a race.

The #40 car made its debut in 1993 as the second car of Sabco Racing. With a sponsorship from Dirt Devil and with Kenny Wallace as the official driver the team obtained 3rd place in the Nascar Rookie of the Year standings. After this Wallace left the team and he was replaced by Bobby Hamilton who received a new sponsorship from Kendall. The #40 car was bought that season by Dick Brooks and finished 23rd in points. In 1995 the team had several drivers like Randy LaJoie, Rich Bickle, Greg Sacks, and Shane Hall.

After this the team was sold to Sabates and returned in 1996 with sponsorship from First Union and Greg Sacks as the official driver. Unfortunately Sacks didn’t do much for the team and was replaced by Robby Gordon. Gordon took the pole position at Atlanta but later at the Indianapolis 500 event the driver suffered burns due to an accident an by the time he was recovered he was replaced by Greg Sacks.

Chip Ganassi Racing

In 1998 Sacks was replaced by the two time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin. Marlin did not qualify for the Atlanta race, this being the first time since 1986 when Marlin missed a Winston Cup race. At the end of the season Marlin had 6-top 10’s and was on 18th position in points. In 2001 the car received a new paint scheme, a new crew chief, Mr. Lee McCall and also a new owner in Ganassi.

After the team switched to Dodge, Marlin won the qualifying race for the Daytona 500. During the race something horrible happened: Marlin lost control of his car and bumped into Dale’s Earnhardt car killing him. Due to this crash Marlin and his wife got hate mail and death threats claiming him responsible for Dale’s death. All these stopped when Dale’s son and Michael Waltrip defended Marlin.

After this Marlin returned at the wheel of his Dodge won the race at Michigan and finished the season 3rd in points. In 2002 Marlin broke his neck at Kansas Speedway and was replaced by Jamie McMurray. McMurray won his first race in the second race for Chip Ganassi Racing at Lowe Motor Speedway when he beat Bobby Labonte. After this Marlin replaced McMurray but he did not do anything for his team and was quickly replaced in 2006 by David Stremme.

The #41 car made its debut in 1989 at Atlanta Motor Speedway as the #42 Peak Pontiac with Kyle Petty as the official driver. Petty finished the race on the 4th position and continued to race until the end of the season. In 1990 the team moved to full-time status and by the end of the season Petty finished 11th in points.

Chip Ganassi Racing

In 1991 Petty broke his leg during an accident at Talladega Superspeedway. Until he recovered Petty was replaced by Bobby Hillin, Jr., Tommy Kendall and Kenny Wallace. In 1992 Petty recovered and finished the season 5th in points. In 1993 Petty repeated the performance. In 1995 he won his final race at Dover and in 1996 he was replaced by Jim Sauter to recover from more injuries.

Joe Nemechek and BellSouth replaced him but his best result was in 1998 when he finished 26th in points. In 2000 he won his first Winston Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway but was soon replaced by Kenny Irwin Jr. This partnership was quickly finished when Kenny was killed during a practice session. He was replaced by Ted Musgrave and the car became #01. In 2001 the team chose Jason Leffler as the official driver but he was released by Jimmy Spencer due to the fact that his only performance was a pole position at the inaugural race at Kansas Speedway.

With Jimmy Spencer as the official driver the car received also a new sponsorship from Cingular and became #31 but soon the team changed it to #41. Spencer didn’t qualify for the Daytona 500 event and was replaced by Scott Prett. Soon after Pruett was replaced by Casey Mears. Currently the car is driven by Reed Sorenson who ended the season 24th in points while Casey Mears drives the #42 car.

The #42 car made its debut as #87 with Joe Nemecheck as the official driver. After Sabates bought the majority of the team in 1996 the car became #46 First Union Chevy and made its debut at the 1997 Daytona 500 race. After skipping several races the team moved to full-time status and Dallenbach finished 41st in points.

Chip Ganassi Racing

In 1998 he raced only 4 races and was replaced by a rotation of drivers including Jeff Green, Morgan Shepherd and Tommy Kendall.

After the team lost the sponsorship from First Union Green, Steve Grissom, and Ron Hornaday drove the car on a limited schedule in 1999. In 2001 the team reappeared at Sear Points as the #04 car with Jason Leffler as the official driver. Leffer did not qualify for the race and in 2002 the car became #42 with Jimmy Spencer as the official driver. Due to the lack of performance Scott Pruett replaced Jamie McMurray but when McMurray filled in for Sterling Marlin, the team didn’t run until 2003.

In 2003 the team raced full-time with sponsorship from Texaco/Havoline and McMurray as the official driver. McMurray won the Rookie of the Year honors but in 2005 he was replaced by Casey Mears. In 2006 Mears decided to move to Hendrick Motorsports and was soon replaced by the Formula 1 racer, Juan Pablo Montoya who won his first race at Infineon Raceway in the Toyota/Save Mart 350.


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