If anyone wants to give out a plaque for Owner of the Year in racing, Chip Ganassi is the landslide winner. He didn’t place a driver in the Chase, but he did everything else to perfection.
Ganassi won the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 with Jamie McMurray, along with the Indy 500 and the IndyCar Series championship with Dario Franchitti.
Ganassi won the team title in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, with drivers Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas sharing the driving championship in the Daytona Prototype class.
Ganassi’s biggest achievement, in my book, is what he has done with the Sprint Cup team at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Dale Earnhardt Inc. was crumbling when Ganassi merged his team with DEI last year.
Martin Truex Jr. left after 2009 to join Michael Waltrip Racing and Ganassi reunited with McMurray, a driver who was down and out but became the best hire of the season.
EGR teammate Juan Pablo Montoya’s year has been a bit of a disappointment after making the Chase last year, but he won at Watkins Glen and will be a Chase contender in 2011, along with McMurray.
McMurray thinks the small operation at EGR can perform just as well as the mega teams in Cup at Roush Fenway Racing and Hendrick Motorsports.
«I think the two-car team works for us better than four,» McMurray said Saturday night after his win at Charlotte. «Less people goofing off. It’s right under your nose. You know exactly what’s happening.
«I think everything at Chip’s shop is working. One thing I’ve noticed about Chip’s organization is he has a person for every job and he lets people do the jobs to their best ability.»
So, what’s the secret to Ganassi’s success? Hiring the right people at the right time and finding the right spot for them. Franchitti, Montoya and McMurray are positive proof of Ganassi’s magic.