Getty Images

Ganassi set for NASCAR, Indy, sports car cross-continent conquest

1 Comment

Chip Ganassi has frequently stated on Twitter, when he tweets, the hashtag #ILikeWinners.

He and his Chip Ganassi Racing Teams have several shots to pull them off this weekend, even more than normal, in what might be one of the most ambitious weekends for one single team in motorsports history.

We’ve noted all of the CGRT race programs this year between NASCAR, IndyCar and sports cars, with a likely Red Bull GRC encore as well.

This weekend, meanwhile, is about to see a cross-continent conquest in the first three disciplines. Ganassi will be fielding a combined 12 cars and 17 drivers between Bristol (NASCAR), Long Beach (IndyCar and IMSA) and Silverstone (FIA WEC).

Ganassi noted it late Monday night, and the team replied to my earlier joking Homer Simpson GIF noting the level of racing content this weekend.

So where can you catch Ganassi cars this weekend? Here’s the respective lineups:

Larson and McMurray at Daytona. Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

NASCAR, Bristol Motor Speedway (all Chevrolets)

  • Sprint Cup (Sunday): 1-Jamie McMurray; 42-Kyle Larson
  • Xfinity (Saturday): 42-Larson; 48-Brennan Poole
Dixon during the Phoenix Grand Prix at Phoenix International Raceway on April 2, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona. Photo: Getty Images

Verizon IndyCar Series, Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (all Chevrolets)

  • 8-Max Chilton
  • 9-Scott Dixon
  • 10-Tony Kanaan
  • 83-Charlie Kimball
Ford GTs at Sebring. Photo courtesy of Michelin
Ford GTs at Sebring. Photo courtesy of Michelin

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix (all Ford GTs, GT Le Mans class)

  • 66-Joey Hand/Dirk Mueller
  • 67-Richard Westbrook/Ryan Briscoe

FIA World Endurance Championship, 6 Hours of Silverstone (all Ford GTs, GTE-Pro class)

  • 66-Olivier Pla/Stefan Muecke/Billy Johnson
  • 67-Marino Franchitti/Andy Priaulx/Harry Tincknell

So there you have it. Twelve cars and 17 drivers spread across Tennessee, California and the United Kingdom. Not to mention hundreds of staff and crew members.

This is the first of two weekends where all four of these programs will be in action concurrently.

On the chaotic and similarly crazy Sept. 17-18 weekend, IndyCar wraps its season in Sonoma, the Sprint Cup Series opens its Chase at Chicagoland Speedway, the Xfinity Series also races at Chicagoland, while both the FIA WEC and IMSA Ford GTs will be at Circuit of The Americas on September 17 in Austin.

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

Leave a comment

Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

NBCSN

“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).