News & Multimedia

Ganassi Earns Milestone Victory at Rolex 24 with Help from Dixon, Briscoe

For Chip Ganassi, the ease of the start made the finish that much more difficult.

It also made it that much better.

Ganassi scored his 200th victory as a team owner in all forms of motorsports Sunday, Jan. 28 when one of his Ford GTs – the No. 67 shared by Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook – outlasted the other Ganassi entry to win the GT Le Mans class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance sports car race.

“If you’re leading and a certain number of hours go around the clock, it’s your race to lose,” Ganassi said. “It’s one thing to not win the race; it’s another to lose it. It was our race to lose, and those are the worst races from my point of view because everything is out of my control.”

It also marked the third class victory at the Rolex 24 by four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Dixon, who previously won overall titles at Daytona with Ganassi in 2006 and 2015.

“For me, it was one of the most nervous races coming down to the wire, just seeing how the team was playing out and racing so closely with the (No.) 66 car,” Dixon said. “There was really nothing much in strategy. Everybody played their part.”

Remarkably, the two Ganassi cars led all but nine of the 783 laps completed by the GTLM class, the second-fastest of the three classes in the 24-hour race on Daytona International Speedway’s road course that kicks off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. The No. 66 Ganassi Ford GT shared by Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and four-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais finished second, 11 seconds behind the No. 67.

Christian Fittipaldi, the former Indy car driver and nephew of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, teamed with Filipe Albuquerque and Joao Barbosa to take the overall victory in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi, beating the No. 31 Action Express entry shared by Felipe Nasr, Eric Curran and former IndyCar driver Mike Conway by just more than a minute in the fastest class, the Prototypes.

The No. 11 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini Huracan GT3 shared by Rolf Ineichen, Mirko Bortolotti, former Indy car driver Franck Perera and Rik Breukers claimed victory in the GT Daytona class.

Ganassi’s victories during his 29-year career break down this way: 103 in Indy cars, 56 in sports cars, 39 in NASCAR and two in rallycross. After the race, he deflected credit to a long list of drivers, management personnel, engineers and crew members.

“There’s a time and a place to talk about that,” Ganassi said in the post-race news conference with Dixon, Briscoe and Westbrook. “We’re the kind of team that focuses on trying to do the best we can today. That’s how we approach every day. Today’s win is about here at Daytona and the Rolex and the three guys up here. When we’re talking to our little grandkids, we’ll talk about 200 wins.”

With only four full-course cautions, the 56th running of the race broke records for laps and mileage. Fittipaldi, Albuquerque and Barbosa covered 808 laps – 2,876.48 miles – breaking the all-time mileage record of 2,760.960 set in 1982 by John Paul Sr., John Paul Jr. and Rolf Stommelen in a Porsche 935JLP-3.

The previous lap record – 762 – was set in 1992 by Masahiro Hasemi, Kazuyoshi Hoshino, Toshio Suzuki and Anders Oloffson in a Nissan R91 CP.

“The pace was just amazing,” Action Express owner Bob Johnson said. “There were so few yellow flags throughout the race, I just couldn’t believe it. To be able to be there at the end, especially with both teams, was just amazing. Beyond my expectations, really.”

The race wasn’t as kind to other drivers with Indy car connections. Roger Penske’s return to sports car racing for the first time since 2009 ended with ninth- and 10th-place finishes with a lineup that included Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Graham Rahal.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2012 Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner, finished 45th with mechanical issues after teammate Renger van der Zande won the pole position Thursday in the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Cadillac DPi.

“It’s an unfortunate circumstance to retire from the race with such a strong car,” Hunter-Reay said. “We obviously had the pace to be right there to be challenging the Action Express cars, but we had some unfortunate situations. … Certainly, it would’ve been a very positive race result for this team, but such is life, and that is racing.”

In the end, the Indy car angle belonged to Ganassi’s 200th victory. Even Indianapolis 500 veteran Scott Pruett, a longtime Ganassi sports car driver who retired today with a ninth-place finish in the GTD class with 3GT Racing, chimed in.

“I can’t say enough about Chip and his organization,” Pruett said. “What we achieved together, those records will take a while to eclipse.”

In the moment, the victory was about strengthening Chip Ganassi Racing’s standing in the racing world.

“As the team grows, it does get to be a bit burdensome at times to keep growing at the pace we have over the years,” Ganassi said. “I’m happy at this point to just make sure we’re stepping on solid ground for the next few years.

“We’re solidifying our current position, if you will.”

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Rolex 24
Ganassi Earns Milestone Victory at Rolex 24 with Help from Dixon, Briscoe
Ganassi scored his 200th victory as a team owner in all forms of motorsports Sunday, Jan. 28 when one of his Ford GTs – the No. 67 shared by Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook – outlasted the other Ganassi entry to win the GT Le Mans class at the Rolex 24 At Daytona endurance sports car race.
Read More
Related Media
Kevin Harvick
Harvick Captures Third Straight Win in 2018, Triumphs at Phoenix
Harvick beat Kyle Busch to the finish line by .774 seconds to win his third straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series of the season, the first time a driver has strung three victories together since Busch accomplished the feat at Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis in 2015.
Read More
Sebastien Bourdais
Bourdais Wins in Wild Finish at Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Sebastien Bourdais repeated as winner of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, but only after Robert Wickens and Alexander Rossi collided while battling for the lead on the next-to-last of 110 unpredictable laps around the tricky temporary street course.
Read More
Oriol Servia
Scuderia Corsa, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Team to Enter Servia in Indy 500
Scuderia Corsa, owner of victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring as well as three consecutive championships in IMSA’s GT Daytona class, is partnering with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing to enter veteran driver Oriol Servia in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil this May.
Read More
Frank Reich
New Colts' Coach Reich Enjoys Special Return Trip to IMS
Frank Reich had been the Indianapolis Colts head coach for just 26 days when he was lifted high into the air to place the checkered flag over Gate 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on March 9, signifying the start of the Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Read More
Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Frank Reich speaks with media after helping signal race season in Indianapolis
Colts Head Coach Frank Reich Raises Flags to Race Season
View Photos
Items 17 - 21 of 4,681
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 IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day:
May 21