If, before the season, you'd asked which owner would be riding highest come late July, Chip Ganassi would have ranked somewhere beneath Zeke McCoy Racing's shade-tree start-and-park operation.* After all, Ganassi's team was a hodgepodge mess of the remains of Dale Earnhardt Inc. and his own outfit, with special guest star Felix Sabates involved in some way or another.
But hey, we're in late July, and look where we are now. Ganassi has pulled off an astonishing trifecta: his drivers have won the Daytona 500, the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same calendar year. It's an astonishing rebirth for a team that only recently had to cut teams because of a lack of sponsorship funds.
"We had to pull our wings in a bit and make some changes, take it a little bit on the chin, which we did," Ganassi said after the race. "But we always knew we'd be racing. I think a lot of people in the media had us written off that we were bye-bye. Everybody was ready to kiss us off. We knew that wasn't the case."
*-Zeke McCoy Racing does not, technically, exist. But it should.
- Chip Ganassi
- Felix Sabates