As one of the most successful team owners in the history of auto racing, Chip Ganassi will be inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the 28th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony.
The event will take place on Wednesday at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach, Florida.
A Hall of Fame Career for Chip Ganassi
Before fielding his own teams across various motorsports disciplines, Chip Ganassi was in the cockpit himself.
He made five starts at the famed Indianapolis 500, finishing a career-best eighth at the 1983 running. A year later, he scored his best finish of second in Cleveland in one of his 27 career Indy car starts.
Chip Ganassi has since built a widely successful racing empire under his own name that is present and competitive across a multitude of motorsports championships and at the world’s most celebrated events.
With four cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series, a pair Supercars in Red Bull Global Rallycross and, most recently, a pair of factory-backed Ford GTs in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and globe-trotting FIA World Endurance Championship, Chip Ganassi’s powerhouse team fields 18 drivers from seven different countries in a total of 14 machines.
Ganassi is the only car owner in history to have won the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, Rolex 24 at Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Brickyard 400, and, after this month’s triumph for the Ford GT in France, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Between February 2010 and January 2011, Chip Ganassi Racing swept the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 and won the Brickyard 400 and Rolex 24 at Daytona, completing an unprecedented “Grand Slam” in North America’s most major auto races.
Overall, entries fielded by Chip Ganassi have won 18 championships with the aid of 175 race victories.
Impact on Racing’s Greatest
Inevitably, Chip Ganassi has left some of racing’s biggest names impressed and proud in the wake of his still-active career.
“I’ve known Chip since he was driving Formula Fords in the early 80s,” said racing legend Mario Andretti. “As he transitioned to team ownership, the motorsports world watched him reach the pinnacle of the sport by winning in all the major categories that he entered. In my eyes, that makes him an icon.
“His contributions to our sport are immense. He’s a tremendous competitor and also a great friend.”
One of the team’s most renowned drivers is proud to have driven under the ownership of Chip Ganassi.
“It’s impressive what Chip has been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time,” stated reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon. “He started his team in the early 90s and has grown it across multiple series. Just this month he added another big win to the list with a historic victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“I love Chip’s competitive nature and I’m proud to have driven for the same team basically my entire career. This honor is well deserved and I hope we get to share many more trips to victory lane together in the future.”
As a fellow team owner, A.J. Foyt believes Ganassi is better off on the pit stand than behind the wheel.
“Chip’s been a lot better owner than he was a driver,” Foyt joked. “Seriously though, he’s been good for racing and a strong supporter of the sport. His teams have won the major races in IndyCar and NASCAR so I think he deserves to be in there.”
Perhaps 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan said it best.
“You can’t think of Indy car racing without Chip’s name and his organization coming to mind. He has been a pioneer for the whole world of motorsports and he has turned his organization into such a powerhouse across so many different series.”
Ganassi will be joined in this Hall of Fame class by NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, NHRA announcer Dave McClelland, and racer and broadcaster Sam Posey. Dirt track motorcycle racer Everett Brashear, land-speed racer Gary Gabelich and 1955 Indianapolis 500 winner Bob Sweikert will each be posthumously inducted as well.