Chip Ganassi: Building a Dynasty in 3 Different Series

Sabrina SmithContributor IJanuary 31, 2011

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JANUARY 30:  Drivers of the #01 TELMEX/Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates BMW Riley celebrate after winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 30, 2011 in Daytona Beach, Florida..  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Many people were high on Chip Ganassi after he won the Daytona 500 last year. They were even more excited after he won the Indianapolis 500, again. After he returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway with his NASCAR team, he pulled off the three-peat. Little did we know, he wasn't done.

This weekend Chip Ganassi's team finished one-two at Daytona, in the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. He has now won the four biggest races within the same calendar year, in three different racing series. Needless to say, that has never been done before and probably won't ever again.

While many people have been praising Ganassi for his success, he has been much more modest.

"I don't drive the cars, I don't change the tires, I don't work on the engines," Ganassi said. "There's a lot of great competitors that it takes to make up a team. I'm just the guy that gets to stand up here and talk about it."

The win didn't come easy, as both of his teams were battling on the final lap, very fitting. Three-time and defending Grand-Am Series champion Scott Pruett drove the last leg of the Rolex 24 on Sunday and held off Ganassi teammate Scott Dixon during a frantic, one-lap sprint.

Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Joey Hand and Graham Rahal overcame several setbacks to get Ganassi back to Victory Lane in the Rolex 24 after consecutive runner-up finishes. It was Ganassi's fourth win in the season-opening event.

What Chip has been able to do over the past year is remarkable. We will probably never see anything like this in the future of auto racing, unless Ganassi can pull it off again.

He now has a four-car team in the INDYCAR Series, a big change from his two-car team that he has had for many years. While the veterans Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti will work together in one shop, Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball will work together in another shop in Brownsburg, Ind.

Regardless of that, they will all be working together, in order to get Chip another INDYCAR Series Championship; something else that he was able to capture last season, on top of all of the other things.

With the INDYCAR season just a little over a month away, it looks like Chip is going to pick up where he left off last year. It is quite a start to the new season, but what else would you expect from a guy like Chip Ganassi.