In November 2008 two of auto racing’s biggest names – Earnhardt and Ganassi – launched a multi-car race team through the combination of the motorsports operations of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Combined, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates now sports a history that includes six NASCAR championships, over 120 victories, 88 pole positions, over 200 top-fives and four Daytona 500 crowns.
Dale Earnhardt Inc. was formed by Dale and Teresa Earnhardt in February of 1980. The organization quickly grew from its humble beginnings of a three-bay garage to a beautiful headquarters that include administration offices, show room, and retail store.
The organization won 24 races at the NASCAR Sprint Cup level and claimed 127 top-five finishes, 246 top-10 finishes and 14 poles. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr., Michael Waltrip and Steve Park all won Sprint Cup races under the Dale Earnhardt Inc. banner.
The organization’s results were even more impressive in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). Its list of accomplishments includes 57 wins, 184 top-fives, 281 top-10s and 30 poles from 1984 to 2008. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won back-to-back NNS titles for the team in 1998 and 1999 and Truex repeated the feat in 2004 and 2005.
The success continued in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. From 1995 to 1999 the team earned 25 wins, 64 top-fives, 93 top-10s and 12 poles. Ron Hornaday Jr. won the series title for Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 1996 and 1998.
After purchasing majority interest from Felix Sabates’ Team Sabco in 2001, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates was created and promptly began picking up wins. The organization has scored ten victories, 91 top-fives, 230 top-10s and 22 poles. Sterling Marlin, Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya have all won races for the organization; in fact Marlin led the point standings for 22 weeks before an injury sidelined him for the rest of the season with the car finishing third in the point standings. In 2007 Montoya picked up the organization’s first NSCS Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award after a much heralded entry into the sport as the first Formula 1 driver to make the switch full-time to NASCAR.
In 2009, the newly formed organization transitioned to Chevrolets and moved to the former CGRFS building in Concord, NC. Montoya led the organization to their first-ever spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and finished out the season with an eighth-place finish in the Championship standings.
2010 was a monumental year for Chip Ganassi as he became the first owner to ever win the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and the Indianapolis 500 in one season. EGR visited victory lane four times during the 2010 NASCAR season with McMurray at the Daytona 550, Brickyard 400 and the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Montoya picked up his second NSCS victory in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at Watkins Glen International.