The partnership between Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing was easy to understand. Earnhardt-Ganassi was the team that fielded cars for Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya in the Sprint Cup Series, and the engine shop was Earnhardt-Childress Racing, which supplied horsepower for those two cars as well as the teams of Richard Childress Racing.
Pretty straightforward, huh?
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On Friday, EGR announced that it would be switching to Hendrick horsepower for the 2013 season. So that meant that the engine shop known as Earnhardt-Childress would disappear since Earnhardt-Ganassi wasn't going to be involved anymore, right?
Earnhardt Childress Racing was formed when Richard Childress Racing merged its engine-building operation with Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s Sprint Cup team in 2007. DEI then merged with Chip Ganassi Racing in late 2008, changing the team's name to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
Because DEI independently remains a partner in Ganassi's Sprint Cup team and in Childress' engine shop, neither entity is changing its name.
On Friday, Childress said that EGR's decision wouldn't have a huge impact on ECR's operations, as the shop will continue to provide engines for his three Sprint Cup teams (and Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series teams), Furniture Row Racing and other race teams.
McMurray and Montoya are in 20th and 22nd in the Sprint Cup points standings, respectively. The highest driver with ECR power is Kevin Harvick in 11th, behind four drivers who have Hendrick horsepower. No ECR car has a race win -- compare that with 12 for Hendrick powered cars.
However, it's important to note that the Hendrick cars also have Hendrick chassis, an almost equally vital part of the mechanical spectrum. Will the simple switch in power plants for EGR lead to better performance, or is the Hendrick secret the total package? We'll find out in 2013.
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