INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 4, 2000) - Chip Ganassi, who recently bought the majority interest of Team SABCO from Felix Sabates, announced Friday he will join the ever-growing Dodge contingent in 2001. As part of the Dodge program, Chip Ganassi Racing...
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 4, 2000) - Chip Ganassi, who recently bought the majority interest of Team SABCO from Felix Sabates, announced Friday he will join the ever-growing Dodge contingent in 2001. As part of the Dodge program, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, as it is now referred, will field two Dodge Intrepid R/T racecars next season, bringing the total to 10 Dodge Intrepids that will debut in the 2001 Daytona 500.
"I'm honored to be part of the Dodge return to Winston Cup racing," said Ganassi, a four-time CART championship owner. "The approach Dodge is taking to NASCAR Winston Cup racing is unique. It will help us become competitive much quicker. I'm delighted to be a part of the Dodge effort and I'm confident that I can add something."
Andy Graves, who crew chiefed Terry Labonte for two years but went to Ganassi after being released by Hendrick Motorsports last season, has joined the team to assist Tony Glover in the day-to-day operations.
"As I watched my father and the (Petty Enterprises) truck program, I realized how serious Dodge is about their racing," Graves said. "I saw how they came into a totally new program, how committed they were and how quickly they developed all the parts they needed. I'm really excited about working with the manufacturer who is going to be very heavily involved and support us."
Although Ganassi's majority interest in the team officially begins in 2001, he will contribute to Team SABCO's management for the remainder of this year's NASCAR Winston Cup Series season.
"It's a privilege for me to team with such a well-respected member of the racing community and a proven winner like Ganassi," said Sabates, who will continue to contribute to the team's business operations after Ganassi takes over. "I'm eager to begin working with Chip and Dodge. We have a shared vision for this organization -- to earn our way to the head table at the Winston Cup banquet."
Ganassi has served as owner of Target Chip Ganassi Racing since 1990. Team Target has claimed an unprecedented four consecutive CART titles with drivers Jimmy Vasser (1996), Alex Zanardi (1997 and '98) and Juan Montoya (1999). With his purchase of Team SABCO, Ganassi brings his CART championship experience to NASCAR for the first time.
"My excitement for the partnership with Felix and Dodge in the Winston Cup Series grows each day," said Ganassi, who also serves as president of Chicago Motor Speedway and is part owner of Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates. "I'm lucky to join some very experienced individuals, who have a desire to win races and championships. I'm looking forward to the challenge of doing exactly that in NASCAR, which continues to grow in popularity."