News & Multimedia

Bracketology, Ganassi Style

Indianapolis is in the regular rotation of cities that host the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Final Four. This year it’s also the unofficial home of a completely different (and not nearly so serious) bracket.
 
Call it Ganassi May Madness.
 
With its four IZOD IndyCar Series entries bunkered in at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the lead up to the 2012 Indianapolis 500, Chip Ganassi Racing is staging a friendly competition to determine the All-Time Greatest Ganassi Racing Driver. Sixteen drivers have been seeded in four regions (Indianapolis, Charlotte, Long Beach and Daytona), with daily fan votes across social media platforms deciding daily match-ups.
 
In early action, two-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon bested versatile sports car ace Joey Hand, Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner Jamie McMurray topped NovoNordisk IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball, and Jimmy Vasser pulled out a tight battle with Grand-Am legend Scott Pruett.
 
The match-ups are supposed to be friendly, but the contest has rekindled the competitive spirit in some of the Ganassi alumni.
 
“I’m just flattered to be one of the 16 finalists,” said Vasser, who enjoyed a famously combative relationship with Ganassi in their six years of working together.
 
“But I think it was Chip’s idea to get Vasser blown out in the first round.”
 
To avoid an early-round upset, Vasser successfully enlisted help from his friends (and current KV Racing Technology IndyCar Series drivers) Tony Kanaan and Rubens Barrichello - and their combined 2.1 million Twitter followers.
 
In the Long Beach Regional, today’s quarterfinal features rising Indy car star Graham Rahal taking on Alex Zanardi, who won 16 races and two CART-sanctioned championships for Target Ganassi Racing between 1996 and ’98.
 
Zanardi won several races with drama and flair, most notably at Laguna Seca in 1996 when he passed Bryan Herta on the last lap in the famed Corkscrew turn.
 
Service Central driver Rahal Tweeted: “Lets be honest I’d love to win @CGRTeams greatest driver, but first round against arguably the greatest ever isn’t fair.”
 
Fans can vote in today’s competition on Twitter using hashtags #TeamZanardi or #TeamRahal.
 
Chip Ganassi was a partner in Patrick Racing’s victory with Emerson Fittipaldi in the 1989 Indianapolis 500 and CART championship. The following year, Ganassi formed Chip Ganassi Racing and fielded a car sponsored by Target Stores in the CART series for driver Eddie Cheever.
 
Michael Andretti replaced Cheever in 1994 and scored the team’s first Indy car race wins. The pairing of Vasser and Zanardi dominated the CART Indy car series from 1996-98, and rookie phenom Juan Pablo Montoya scored the team’s fourth consecutive CART title in 1999 and added victory in the 2000 Indianapolis 500.
 
Target Chip Ganassi Racing joined the IndyCar Series full-time in 2003 and Scott Dixon won the first of his two series titles. Dixon, who is the longest tenured Ganassi driver having started with the organization in mid-2002, added a second IndyCar Series crown and an Indianapolis 500 victory in 2008.
 
Dario Franchitti has carried on Ganassi’s winning tradition in Indy cars by claiming the last three IndyCar Series championships. Franchitti also won the 2010 Indianapolis 500 for Ganassi and is tipped along with Zanardi as the co-favorite in the intra-team bracket.
 
More than 50 drivers have competed for the Ganassi organization since 1989 in NASCAR, Indy car and sports car racing. The 16 finalists are:
 
·         Michael Andretti
·         Luis Diaz
·         Scott Dixon
·         Dario Franchitti
·         Joey Hand
·         Charlie Kimball
·         Arie Luyendyk
·         Sterling Marlin
·         Jamie McMurray
·         Juan Pablo Montoya
·         Scott Pruett
·         Graham Rahal
·         Memo Rojas
·         Jimmy Vasser
·         Dan Wheldon
·         Alex Zanardi
 
 
Daily match-ups will take place through May 18, with the ‘Final Four’ set for May 23-25. Additional information is available at chipganassiracing.com

 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Bracketology, Ganassi Style
 
Bracketology, Ganassi Style
Call it Ganassi May Madness.
Read More
Related Media
Lily & Madeleine
 
Lily & Madeleine to Perform National Anthem at Red Bull Air Race
Indianapolis natives and fast-rising duo Lily & Madeleine will sing the national anthem at the inaugural Red Bull Air Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Panasonic Pagoda
 
Gate 9 is Entryway to Epic World of Red Bull Air Race at IMS
Gate 9 is the entryway to an entertaining weekend full of high-octane thrills at the first Red Bull Air Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Oct. 1-2. All fans heading to the Speedway are encouraged to use Gate 9 to enter the event.
Read More
Red Bull Air Race
 
The Countdown is on to Red Bull Air Race This Weekend
The most highly anticipated stop of the 2016 Red Bull Air Race calendar is this weekend, Oct. 1-2, when the official world championship comes to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time. The jam-packed weekend of racing action will be a landmark event for the legions of sports fans in the Midwest, for the field of top pilots looking to join Indy’s legendary winners and, especially, for the two men locked in a battle for the overall crown with only two races to go.
Read More
Kevin Coleman
 
American Coleman Well-Versed on What It Means to Fly at IMS
As the only American in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship Challenger Cup, Kevin Coleman has an appreciation for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Kirby Chambliss
 
Ten Things You Didn't Know About Kirby Chambliss
Any Red Bull Air Race fan who doesn’t know that Kirby Chambliss was born in Texas – or that he is the only two-time titleholder in the current lineup – hasn’t been paying attention. But after 10 full seasons of dazzling crowds worldwide with his talent, there’s still plenty to discover about the pilot who was instrumental in developing the ultimate motorsport series in the sky. Such as…
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,331
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
Today's #SpeedRead has some new IMS history you may or may not already know... The Speedway is now an airport?… https://t.co/mgfbDrNq6K
about 44 minutes ago