Chip on Dario

Sterling, IL

#1 Jul 6, 2008
DAYTONA BEACH -- To Chip Ganassi, the members of his 12 teams spread over five series are much like kids.

"These teams, they're like my children, you know what I mean?" Ganassi asked rhetorically. "Some need more attention than others, but you love them all equally."

And that's a primary reason why sleepless nights recently spilled from one week into another before Ganassi made a nightmare become reality. Earlier this week, he closed Dario Franchitti's No. 42 Dodge NASCAR Sprint Cup Series shop, laying off dozens of employees.

"As most parents know, there comes a point where you've just got to cut the cord," Ganassi said.

"It's never an easy process, and it's something I didn't look forward to doing -- shoot, I cried about it for gosh sakes -- but it's just something that had to be done."

With the shop-closure coming in the wake of a May 20 Ganassi personnel change making Brian Pettie crew chief of Juan Pablo Montoya's No. 42 Havoline Dodge -- that driver's third crew chief in 2008 -- talk soon surfaced of the Ganassi organization being in disarray.

"Who's in disarray? To go out (at Daytona International Speedway) and win the Rolex Series race Thursday night and then see Bryan (Clauson) win the pole for (Friday's Nationwide) race doesn't sound like a team in disarray to me," Ganassi said.

"(Thursday race winners) Scott (Pruett) and Memo (Rojas) are leading the Daytona Prototype championship points and, evidently, our Indy Racing League operation must be in disarray, too," Ganassi sarcastically offered.

Ganassi's Indy Car drivers -- Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon -- have each claimed one or more 2008 race victories, while Dixon leads that series' points standings after having scored the Indianapolis 500 among his season's three wins and eight top-5 finishes in nine races.

"Few people seem to realize he was funding that team from his pocket since the first of the year," NASCAR's Jim Hunter said.

"To suggest Chip Ganassi Racing is in disarray because he shut down one team to make sure the other teams survive is just flat-out wrong. He had to make a tough call that no one ever really wants to make."

Though Ganassi will candidly admit he wants to see his NASCAR operations produce wins, he also isn't inclined to publicly air his team's laundry for all to see.

"We're working as hard on this deal as we can, but it's kind of like a family matter," he said. "It's something I'd prefer not talking about in public."

Sterling, IL

#2 Jul 6, 2008
He cried

Sterling, IL

#4 Jul 18, 2008

Since: Aug 07

Sterling, IL

#5 Aug 17, 2008
I love it.

Greenfield, IN

#7 Oct 4, 2008
I still love it

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