Peers applaud Chip Ganassi’s induction into Motorsports Hall of Fame of America

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Chip Ganassi has been one of the most successful owners in motorsports over the last three decades.

Wednesday night, Ganassi got his due, as he was inducted into The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, which has relocated from Michigan and re-opens in a permanent brand new facility this Sunday just outside of Daytona International Speedway.

Ganassi was inducted during the 28th annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Also inducted were NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, NHRA announcer Dave McClelland and racer and broadcaster Sam Posey, as well as posthumous inductees AMA dirt-track motorcycle racer Everett Brashear, land-speed racer Gary Gabelich and 1955 Indianapolis 500 winner Bob Sweikert.

Here’s some highlights of Ganassi’s racing career from a team media release:

* Ganassi is the only car owner in history to have won the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, the Brickyard 400 in addition to adding the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this month.

* Overall, his teams have won 18 championships and 175 races. His open-wheel teams have amassed 11 championships and more than 100 victories, including five in the Indianapolis 500. His NASCAR teams have 17 victories including wins in the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400.

* In addition to his recent win at Le Mans, his sports car teams have a record six Rolex 24 At Daytona victories to complement their seven WeatherTech Sports Car Series championships.

A number of Ganassi’s peers offered their congratulations upon his induction into the Hall:

Mario Andretti: “I’ve known Chip since he was driving Formula Fords in the early 80s. As he transitioned to team ownership, the motorsports world watched him reach the pinnacle of the sport by winning in all the major categories that he entered. In my eyes, that makes him an icon. His contributions to our sport are immense. He’s a tremendous competitor and also a great friend.”

Scott Dixon: “I love Chip’s competitive nature and I’m proud to have driven for the same team basically my entire career. This honor is well deserved and I hope we get to share many more trips to victory lane together in the future.”

AJ Foyt: “Chip’s been a lot better owner than he was a driver (said with a laugh). Seriously though, he’s been good for racing and a strong supporter of the sport. His teams have won the major races in INDYCAR and NASCAR so I think he deserves to be in (the Hall).”

Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO: “Chip Ganassi has had a positive impact on our sport for decades, as both a driver and owner, and on behalf of the entire NASCAR family we would like to congratulate him on being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame.”

Jim France, IMSA and International Speedway Corporation Chairman – “It’s appropriate that the first Motorsports Hall of Fame of America induction ceremony in Daytona Beach includes Chip Ganassi. … It’s clear that Chip has plenty of credentials to be called a Hall of Famer. Congratulations, Chip, on a fantastic career so far and here’s to many more years of success.”

Dario Franchitti: “It’s great to see Chip being honored. It’s well deserved. His accomplishments are really second to none. Winning the Daytona 500, Indy 500, Rolex 24, Sebring, Brickyard and now Le Mans, is simply incredible. As a driver, you want to drive for Chip because he gives the team everything it needs to do the job, and expects results. It’s been an absolute pleasure to drive for him.”

Jeff Gordon: “Chip is a great businessman and he is the definition of a racer. It doesn’t matter what series, whether it’s the Indianapolis 500 or the Brickyard 400, whether it’s the Daytona 500 or the 24 Hours of Daytona, or Le Mans, Chip’s teams will be battling for the win. It takes a great leader to accomplish the impressive victory resume he has. Chip is a very deserving honoree.”

Tony Kanaan: “You can’t think of Indy car racing without Chip’s name and his organization coming to mind. He has been a pioneer for the whole world of motorsports and he has turned his organization into such a powerhouse across so many different series. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Chip’s team grow into what it is today over the years and it’s nothing short of impressive. It’s really been an honor to have the opportunity to drive for Chip and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame.”

Jamie McMurray: “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity in my career to work with such a successful team owner. When you look at Chip’s accomplishments over his career it is just amazing. I have had the chance to win some huge races with Chip and I am extremely proud to not only have him as my boss, but to call him my friend. It is fitting for Chip to be recognized with this honor less than two weeks after adding another iconic victory to his already impressive resume, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”

Roger Penske: “From INDYCAR to NASCAR to Sports Car competition, Chip Ganassi Racing has really raised the bar in all of those disciplines and the consistent performance of their teams has been very impressive over the years. We know that drive to succeed starts at the top with Chip. I am proud to call him a friend and a competitor and he is very deserving of this special honor.”

Don Prudhomme, drag racing legend: “When you are a friend of Chip’s, he takes you on the racing journey with him – whether it is the Indy 500, Le Mans or a NASCAR event. Despite all that he is involved in, he is never too busy to answer his phone when you call and when he says ‘let’s go to dinner’ you are in for a great evening.”

Felix Sabates: “It has been a great partnership for 16 years – a Cuban NASCAR owner and an open wheel young man from Pittsburgh, what were the odds we would still be together and enjoying a great partnership? Besides I will be able to tell my great grandkids that grandpa’s teams won the Daytona 500, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and as a bonus the Brickyard 400, Thanks, Chip.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points

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Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

450s
2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

250s
2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Detroit
Indianapolis
Daytona
Arlington
Oakland
Tampa
Houston
Anaheim 2
San Diego

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SMX develops “Leader Lights”
Power Rankings after Detroit
Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan
Results and points after Detroit
Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points