What went right: The nephew of four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears performed well in restrictor-plate races: 10th at the Daytona 500, 14th at the spring race at Talladega, a season-best finish of fourth in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, and another 10th in the fall at ‘Dega. Mears also largely avoided disaster with just one DNF all year, and that didn’t come until the Chase race at Martinsville.
What went wrong: Mears’ team, Germain Racing, is one of several smaller teams that has an alliance with the bigger Richard Childress Racing. JTG-Daugherty Racing and Furniture Row Racing are also in that group, and while Mears’ 2014 season was comparable with that of Martin Truex Jr. and FRR, A.J. Allmendinger and JTG-D have bragging rights of sorts with their Watkins Glen win and Chase berth.
2015 Prospectus: If Mears can continue to do well on the plate tracks, he might be next year’s Allmendinger or Aric Almirola by earning a “wild card” win that propels him into the Chase. Beyond that, Mears and the No. 13 team should focus on continuing to maximize their partnership with RCR and gaining “best in class” status over JTG-D and Furniture Row.
This Saturday, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibit honoring one of the most successful teams in American motorsports.
Titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute,” the exhibit will display several significant cars, trophies, and other artifacts from CGR’s storied racing history. Ganassi will formally be honored April 15, 2020 at the Petersen’s Annual Racers Night before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Vehicles displayed in the exhibit will include the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish in the Indianapolis 500, the Lexus-powered Riley MK X1 raced by Scott Dixon in the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona, the Dallara IR-05 driven to victory by Dario Franchitti in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE category at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.
“Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.”
“Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. The museum will host a ticketed opening reception on December 13. More information on the Petersen Museum can be found at www.petersen.org.