News and Notes – McMurray and Larson Look to Build on Late Season Momentum
CONCORD, N.C. (Jan. 21, 2016) – A new season means new opportunities. As Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) anticipates the 2016 season, the team is looking forward to building on what was in many ways a very successful season in 2015.
New Looks: The No. 42 Target Chevy SS, No. 1 Cessna Chevy SS and No. 1 McDonald’s Chevy SS will feature new paint schemes for the 2016 NSCS season. Following their 26th season with CGRT, primary partner Target is entering this season with as much excitement as ever, and will continue to feature a different paint scheme for day and night races. Primary partner Cessna will see their scheme switch from black to blue and white, which reflects Cessna’s branding for their line-up of luxury aircraft. This will be the fourth year that Cessna will adorn the No. 1 Chevy SS.
Longtime team partner McDonald’s will also feature a new design with a metallic feel as they enter their seventh year with CGRFS.
Looking Back, Moving Forward: 2015 saw the 26th season in which Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) has put a team on track. Beginning with their first win in 1994 at Surfers Paradise, Australia, the organization has compiled historic victories in some of the most iconic races around the globe. CGRT has claimed six wins in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 victory and one at the 12 Hours of Sebring. In total, CGRT has claimed 18 series championships and more than 170 race victories. In 2016 CGRT also looks to make its first-ever appearance in the 24 Hours of LeMans, racing the new Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT.
Looking to Defend Rolex 24 Title: Just as the 2015 season began, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson, along with INDYCAR teammates Tony Kanaan and 2015 series champion Scott Dixon will start the year racing at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, where they look to defend their title. Last year’s win was a record-setting sixth for Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) in the premier North American endurance race, the most of any team in history. McMurray also etched his name into the record books by becoming just the third driver to ever win both the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Daytona 500. McMurray joined the elite company of racing legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing will also field one additional prototype along with two Ford GT’s in the GTLM class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona this making a total of four cars and 14 drivers.
McMurray Gets CGRFS Back into The Chase: Jamie McMurray and rookie crew chief Matt McCall propelled the No. 1 Cessna/McDonald’s Chevy SS team into The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for just the second-time in CGRFS’ team history and the first for the Joplin, Mo. native. McMurray amassed four top-five and 10 top-10 finishes, including two runner-up finishes en route to a 13th-place finish in the final standings.
Larson’s Third Full-Time Season in Sprint Cup: Following his sophomore season, Kyle Larson returns to the No. 42 Target Chevy SS with renewed confidence and excitement. Last season, the 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year improved his qualifying position by an average of 2.3, from 15.6 in 2014 to 13.3 in 2015. Larson also improved on number of laps led (115 in 2015 compared 53 in 2014), and ended the year with two top-five and 10 top-10 finishes.
New Crew Chief on the No. 42: Shortly after the 2015 season concluded, Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (TCGRFS) announced Chad Johnston as the new crew chief for Kyle Larson and the No. 42 Target team. Johnston joins the team from Stewart-Haas Racing, where he has been the crew chief for three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart and the No. 14 Chevy SS since the 2014 season. Johnston also served as crew chief for Martin Truex, Jr. and the No. 56 at Michael Waltrip Racing from 2011 – 2013. Johnston has one career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) win as a crew chief (2013 Sonoma) and helped guide Truex Jr. into The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup during the 2012 season. Johnston has also worked in NASCAR as a race engineer at Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, Evernham Motorsports, and JTG Daugherty Racing before serving as a crew chief. The Cayuga, Ind. native graduated from Indiana State University with a major in mechanical engineering, and briefly worked in the aerospace industry before his passion for motorsports brought him to NASCAR and the Camping World Truck Series in 2004.
Larson Visits the Land of the Rising Sun: In early December, Kyle Larson embarked on a 13 hour trip to Tokyo, Japan to visit JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. headquarters, makers of the premium synthetic oil brand, ENEOS. Highlights of the trip included visiting the company’s R&D center, stopping at the busiest intersection in the world, taking in a local fish market, dining at McDonald’s and riding a bullet train. ENEOS has backed Larson in the XFINITY Series since 2014 and continues to be a full-time associate partner on the two CGRT XFINITY Series teams and the Chip Ganassi Racing Red Bull Global Rallycross cars.
About Chip Ganassi Racing Teams
Chip Ganassi has been a fixture in the auto racing industry for over 25 years and is considered one of the most successful as well as innovative owners the sport has anywhere in the world. Today his teams include four cars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, one car in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, two factory Ford GT’s in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, two factory Ford GT’s in the FIA World Endurance Championship and two Supercars in Red Bull Global Rallycross. Overall his teams have 18 championships and 170 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400 and six Rolex 24 At Daytonas and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Ganassi boasts state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Concord, N.C., with a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Penn.
For more information log onto: www.chipganassiracing.com