Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Reunites Target and Montoya; Long Time Partner Target Will Celebrate 20th Season in 2009 with Montoya Behind the Wheel CONCORD, N.C. (Jan. 20, 2009) -- Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates ...
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Reunites Target and Montoya; Long Time Partner Target Will Celebrate 20th Season in 2009 with Montoya Behind the Wheel
CONCORD, N.C. (Jan. 20, 2009) -- Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced today they have moved their long-time partner Target to the No. 42 car of Juan Pablo Montoya. It is a reunion for Target and Montoya as he paired with Target and Chip Ganassi Racing back in 1999 and 2000 during his early open-wheel days when he took the American motorsports world by storm, earning a series championship and an Indianapolis 500 crown.
The Colombia native will make his "re-debut" in Target red on Jan. 24 when he competes in his third consecutive Rolex 24 At Daytona in the No. 01 TELMEX car. He and his teammates have won the last two races and Ganassi's teams have won the prestigious endurance race an unprecedented three consecutive years since 2006.
NOTES OF INTEREST
* Target Celebrates 20th Season with Ganassi: The team's partnership with Target continues to rank as one of the longest relationships in motorsports. Chip Ganassi created his own one-car IndyCar team in 1990 and that same year established a partnership with Target. Today, Target remains the only full-time sponsor in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and the IndyCar Series. With the addition of Montoya and along with his IndyCar Series teammates Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, Team Target now sports three drivers that have all won open-wheel championships and the Indianapolis 500.
* Montoya Behind the Wheel: The 2007 Raybestos Rookie of the Year has a combined 95 NSCS and NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) starts with two wins, six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in just two years of racing stock cars. When he won at Infineon in 2007 in just his 17th Cup start, he became the first Latino driver to ever win in NASCAR's top circuit. Prior to his NASCAR debut, Montoya raced over five seasons in Formula 1 where he picked up seven wins including the circuit's marquee event, the Monaco Grand Prix in 2003.
* Off the Track: Montoya and his wife, Connie founded the Formula Smiles Foundation which improves the lives of Colombian children through sports and athletics. Over the years they have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the programs. Since joining NASCAR, the Montoya's have co-hosted a charity gala in Miami during the Homestead race week to increase awareness and raise funds for their efforts in Colombia. In addition, Montoya is very active in helping other NASCAR drivers promote their own charitable foundations. In fact, Montoya was awarded the Pocono Spirit award given by the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) in the first quarter of 2008 for his community service efforts.
Chip Ganassi, Managing Partner:
"I am looking forward to reuniting Target and Montoya. They had quite a bit of success in their last stint together and to add Juan to a Team Target that already has Dixon and Franchitti in the IndyCar Series is going to be great for them. Target is a premium full-season sponsor and Montoya is a premium driver and putting them together is the right thing to do for everyone. There is little in my racing career I am more proud of than my team's partnership with Target. We will be entering our 20th season with Target in 2009 and we could not be happier with adding Montoya to the Target mix.
"Juan and the whole 42 team did a lot of great things both on and off the track for Texaco/Havoline and Wrigley's last year but aligning Juan and Target was the best move for our organization."
Juan Pablo Montoya, Driver, No. 42 Target Chevrolet:
"Target was my first sponsor here in the US and I'm really looking forward to driving a Target car again. They are a great organization that I had a lot of great experiences with back in my CART days. With the progress we were making toward the end of 2008 the 42 team is poised for a great season and I am really looking forward to Daytona."
Mark Schindele, Sr. Vice President, Merchandising, Target:
"Everyone here at Target is thrilled to pair with Juan Pablo Montoya again. We not only respect his ability as a championship driver but he was always a tremendous brand ambassador for Target. As we celebrate our 20th season with Ganassi in 2009, we couldn't be happier to have Juan behind the wheel."