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

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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.

Simon Pagenaud’s engineer relives 2019 Indy 500 victory on Twitter

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The Team Penske engineer for last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner is reliving Simon Pagenaud’s day by tweeting about what he was doing each moment a year later.

Starting with an observation that he awoke in his Indianapolis hotel room at 4:30 a.m., Ben Bretzman (@benbretzman) sent nearly two dozen tweets by 11 a.m. ET about how the morning before the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 unfolded.

Bretzman was through the infield tunnel and in Gasoline Alley by 6 a.m. By 7:30 a.m., he was wondering if his driver was awake yet, but he had heard for the first time from Pagenaud 45 minutes later.

‘BACK HOME AGAIN’Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, NBC

FIERCE FRIENDSHIPPagenaud, Rossi recall epic battle of 2019 Indy 500

Among other highlights: The team’s last strategy meeting was at 8:30 a.m.; final check of the weather was at 9:30 a.m. and Bretzman gave the No. 22 Dallara-Chevrolet a once-over at 10:35 a.m. before it was pushed to the grid.

Follow @BenBretzman to watch the day unfold from the pit box and tune into “Back Home Again at 2 p.m. ET on NBC as Pageanud and Alexander Rossi, who are good friends off the track, recap their epic duel with host Mike Tirico.

Simon Pagenaud and engineer Ben Bretzman debrief at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IndyCar photo by Joe Skibinski).