Chip Ganassi Named Economaki Champion of Champions
GANASSI NAMED ECONOMAKI CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS
Multi-Faceted Team Owner Enjoys 'An Amazing Season'
HARRISBURG, N.C. (Dec. 14, 2010) -- For the first time in the eight-year history of the Economaki Champion of Champions presented by National Speed Sport News, a non-driver has won the award.
The Economaki Champion of Champions is annually given to the North American racing champion judged to have had the best season on and off the race track.
Team owner Chip Ganassi, whose teams won the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and the Grand Am Rolex Series and IZOD IndyCar Series championships, was selected by the staff of National Speed Sport News as the winner of the award, which is named for longtime National Speed Sport News Editor Chris Economaki.
"While we have traditionally presented this award to a driver, we felt the time was right to honor Chip Ganassi for what was truly an amazing season," said National Speed Sport News Publisher Corinne Economaki. "No team owner had ever won the Daytona 500, Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same season and to win two championships on top of that made Chip an obvious choice for this honor.
"With NASCAR, IndyCar and Grand Am all part of NSSN's core coverage, Chip Ganassi and his racing teams represent a wide spectrum of competitors and racing fans."
Jamie McMurray won both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 NASCAR races for Ganassi, while Dario Franchitti claimed the Indianapolis 500 en route to earning his second-straight IZOD IndyCar Series championship and the third in a row for Chip Ganassi Racing. Finally, Scott Pruett and his co-driver Memo Rojas won nine of 12 races in securing the Grand Am championship. Juan Pablo Montoya (NASCAR) and Scott Dixon (IndyCar) also visited victory lane in Ganassi-owned race cars in 2010.
Ganassi joins an exceptional list of CoC winners, including two-time recipient NHRA Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher; Kyle Busch, 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion; Donny Schatz, three-time World of Outlaws champion; NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson; World of Outlaws' Steve Kinser and J.J. Yeley, who represented USAC when he won the inaugural CoC in 2003.
Other finalists for the award were Scott Bloomquist (Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series), Bryan Clauson (USAC), Larry Dixon (NHRA), John Force (NHRA), Dario Franchitti (IndyCar) Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR), Levi Jones (USAC), Jason Meyers (WoO), Scott Pruett/Memo Rojas (Grand Am) and Tim Shaffer (All Stars).
Ganassi is recognized on the cover of the Dec. 15, 2010, year-end issue of National Speed Sport News.
"I remember the first time I made one of the covers was in 1982 when I was the fastest rookie at the Indianapolis 500," Ganassi said. "I made the back cover and I'll never forget that. You literally wait for that thing to come out and then you look at it and say, 'Hey, there I am.'"
(RIS note: Before Ganassi drove Indy cars, he was involved in amateur and pro Formula Ford 1600 races, competing all over the East Coast. This writer remembers him at Charlotte in those days.)
National Speed Sport News is the authoritative voice of motorsports, providing race coverage that is timely, accurate and colorful. Since 1934, the newspaper has been a must-read for serious fans, drivers, crew members and industry leaders alike. National Speed Sport News is the only motorsports periodical on Library of Congress microfilm.
(RIS photo by John Davison)