Last weekend was certainly a memorable one for Chip Ganassi and his racing team, as Scott Dixon won his third Izod IndyCar Series Championship and Jamie McMurray won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. (As if that wasn’t enough, Chip Ganassi Racing also won this year’s Grand Am Daytona Prototype Team Championship for the fourth consecutive season last month.)

While a NASCAR Championship is out of reach for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing this season, changes are coming in the offseason to help the team build toward a championship future. Juan Pablo Montoya will end his tenure in NASCAR after seven years, two wins and one berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Taking over the Target No. 42 car is 21-year-old Kyle Larson, who raced full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year. Larson will make his second career Sprint Cup Series start this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, following a debut ruined by a blown engine earlier this month in Charlotte.

While Montoya is leaving Earnhardt Ganassi Racing for rival Penske Racing in the IndyCar Series next season, Ganassi spoke positively about his time with the Colombian with Jim Noble and Buddy Baker on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Tradin’ Paint.

It was mission accomplished getting him some race wins. When you look back and you say, hey this guy’s won in IndyCar, he’s won in Formula One, he’s won in sports cars, he’s won in NASCAR, how you don’t look favorably on a relationship like that, I don’t know. He did a lot for our company, he did a lot for our sport, he brought a lot of fans with him wherever he goes. I look at it favorably. Sure I would have liked to have won more championships or been in the Chase more than once but it wasn’t to be, but it wasn’t for lack of effort on anybody’s part.

Time will tell if the youth movement pays off for Ganassi and his racing team. Larson has already caught the eyes of many folks around the garage, and will surely be mentored by McMurray, who will continue to race in the No. 1 Chevrolet next season.

For Ganassi’s full interview, head over to SiriusXM On Demand.

Listen to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90 for full coverage of Sunday’s Goodys Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Follow SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Twitter, and like them on Facebook.

Powered by WordPress.com VIP