Chip Ganassi Racing Ticks To The Beat Of History After Winning Sixth Rolex 24 At Daytona

Chip Ganassi Racing Ticks To The Beat Of History After Winning Sixth Rolex 24 At Daytona

by January 25, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: Ford Racing PR

By: Hunter Thomas
Twitter: HunterThomas08

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates’ No. 02 entry with drivers Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray won the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday afternoon.

With six Rolex 24 at Daytona victories, Chip Ganassi now becomes the winningest team owner of all time in the prestigious event. The victory marks the first win at the speedway for Ford’s EcoBoost V6, and it was also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray, as well as Verizon IndyCar Series driver, Tony Kanaan.

“These things take a team, we’re out there watching Scott Dixon drive for the last three hours and the focus is on Dixon and the focus is on what is going on on-track, but it takes a team of people, a team of great drivers, to be paired with McMurray and Larson and Kanaan with Dixon, that was a great grouping,” team owner, Chip Ganassi said.

The 2015 edition of the prestigious event was the second effort for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Kyle Larson. He struggled last year, but after claiming victory on Sunday, Larson said, “Daytona hasn’t ever been too nice to me, so to get a win is a big thing,” Larson said. “I never thought I’d have the chance to race this race. Everything I’d done was on oval tracks and my goal was to make it to NASCAR. I never thought about racing these cars. Being with Chip, you have all of these different avenues you can hope to get the opportunity to run, so thanks to him to allowing me to get on this 02 roster. It feels great.”

As for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, Jamie McMurray, he became only the third driver in history to win both, the Rolex 24 and Daytona 500. He joins legends, A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti. McMurray’s Daytona 500 win came back in 2010.

“It’s pretty unbelievable,” McMurray said. “Getting to come down and have the opportunity to run this race for Chip and Felix knowing you have the chance to win it every year you’re down here, that makes you want to come do it. And to get to be in this group with Mario and AJ is quite a feeling.

“I told Chip after the race is over, we have got to share some of the most special memories of my life. Some of the greatest days, with the exception of getting married and having kids, I’ve shared with Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates. It’s been great. Gatorade Victory Lane in Daytona has been special for us, with the Daytona 500. This is a big deal for me because these cars are so different than the car I typically drive.”

At the conclusion of the long, grueling 24 hours, Kanann said, “As a driver, you always want to be in on the big races. The Indy 500, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, which we did win as well. For me, it was always something I wanted to do, and for some reason I’ve never had the opportunity to compete and win overall until I signed with Ganassi.”

It was Verizon IndyCar Series driver, Scott Dixon who brought the car across the finish line for the team. In the closing laps, he had to hold off Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 entry, as well as Action Express Racing’s No. 5 entry. Dixon had to clock nearly perfect laps to stay ahead of the competition, and in the end, he did so by 1.333 seconds.

“Today, the last two days, I should say, were a lot of fun in the car was very consistent and I think we had good speed. Everybody pulled their weight,” Dixon said. “Everybody did what they needed to do. That’s what gets you through this 24 Hours. Everybody kept the car in one piece. You have to be there in the end. You have to try to look out for the car so you have the speed in the end to try to compete for the win and we definitely had some obstacles, the 5 car had been very quick and the 10, I thought was going to be the one to beat with strategy and trying to save a little bit of fuel to open our window up, I sort of took a hop into the pits and that’s how we got it. I can’t emphasize how big of a team effort it is. It’s not one person who wins this race, it’s everybody involved. This weekend, everybody on the 02 team did their best job and that’s obviously enough to get a victory.”

Up next for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 14. Both, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray are set to compete in the non-points event. As for the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar team, they’ll head to Sebring, Fla. March 18-21 for the prestigious Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates earned Ford’s EcoBoost V6’s first ever IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar victory during last year’s 12-hours of Sebring.

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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