Ganassi Merging With DEI? Silly Season Just Won't Die In 2009

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst INovember 5, 2008

It seems Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates are on a roller coaster ride they simply can't off of.

A few weeks ago, I reported a possible merger between Ganassi and Petty Enterprises among the fifty or so other rumored mergers floating around the garage area.

However, it seems an alliance between the Dodge team and the struggling Chevrolet team of Dale Earnhardt Inc. may join forces, possibly in 2009.

Just days ago, ESPN called the merger 'unlikely', but for these two struggling teams, it could be their last chance to salvage anything from the disappointing 2008 season.

According to Jayski, CGRWFS would switch to Chevrolets in 2009 or 2010, when their contract with Dodge is up—and may send sponsor Target to 24-year-old Aric Almirola.

Juan Pablo Montoya has partial sponsorship with Wrigley's next season, and DEI driver Martin Truex, Jr. has Bass Pro Shops on board. No word on if this new team would run the currently un-sponsored for '09 No. 01 for Regan Smith, the No. 15 which is sponsorship-less and driverless for next season, or the No. 41, which, with two races left in the season, is still driverless for next year.

"We're talking to a lot of different people," Felix Sabates told ESPN on Tuesday. "We're keeping our options open. Obviously, the way things are going today with sponsors, unless you have the sponsors you can't run.

"We only have a sponsor for the 41 car [Target] and the 42 [Wrigley's Big Red] for half a year. We're looking at all possibilities."

The switch from Dodge would be beneficial to Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, as the manufacturer's future with the sport is a great unknown beyond the year 2010, at the latest. Depending on a future merger with GM, the number of Dodge teams could dwindle next year.

Talks between the teams are allegedly underway.

Everything is up in the air," Sabates said. "We're just talking in theory. We don't know what is going to happen. We don't have anything concrete with anybody. And I'm not saying we will do anything."