Franchitti to Ganassi?

Posted by DaveEllis 
Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: October 03, 2007 09:44AM
Posted by: DaveEllis
What's a bit worrying is Dario has never turned a lap in a stock car yet, and will be expected to hold his own this weekend in a race.

Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: October 03, 2007 07:29PM
Posted by: Red Sam
This is AGR's press release announcing Darios departure:

Andretti Green Racing Releases Dario Franchitti
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 2, 2007) – Andretti Green Racing announced today it has
released Dario Franchitti from his driver agreement.
The team’s agreement with Franchitti was set to expire later this year.
- AGR -

A bit ungracious IMO - he has driven for that team for the best part of 10 years, won them a championship and come as close as you can without winning a second. And not even a thank you and best wishes...

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Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: October 03, 2007 08:21PM
Posted by: DaveEllis
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced reigning Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series Champion Dario Franchitti has signed a multi-year deal with the organization to compete in the Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) beginning in 2008. Franchitti will become the first European driver in the 59-year history of NASCAR to join the series full time when he assumes the driving duties of #40 Dodge Avenger next season. "Any time you can sign a driver of Dario's caliber you have to be thrilled," said Team Owner Chip Ganassi, who now fields cars for three former Indianapolis 500 winners (Juan Pablo Montoya-2000, NNCS; Dan Wheldon-2005, IndyCar; and Franchitti-2007). "Dario is a world-class driver. He is a proven winner, an Indianapolis 500 champion and an accomplished individual that will be a super teammate to both Juan Pablo and Reed."

Franchitti will immediately begin a stock car development program similar to the one CGRFS teammate Montoya engaged in just over a season ago when he attempts to qualify a CGRFS-prepared #42 Target Dodge in Friday's ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway. Franchitti will pilot the #40 Dodge Avenger next season while running for the Sprint Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year title along with an assortment of Busch Series races.

Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: October 03, 2007 11:55PM
Posted by: sasjag


All Hail The New York Giants - Winners of Superbowl XXI, XXV and XLII!

"I'd love to know what goes on in that crazy head of yours sometimes, Sim..." - Locke Cole
Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: October 04, 2007 11:03AM
Posted by: NeilPearson
sasjag Wrote:
> kool!

nah mate they haven't sponsored Franchitti since 2002 ;)

looking forward to seeing him race. should be awesome.

Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: October 05, 2007 08:28PM
Posted by: DaveEllis
Franchitti fitting in at track one pant leg at a time
IRL champ qualifies sixth for Friday's ARCA race at 'Dega

By Raygan Swan, NASCAR.COM
October 5, 2007
12:33 PM EDT

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Like a freshman on the first day of classes, veteran open wheeler now aspiring stock car driver Dario Franchitti was dressed in his fire suit and ready to go hours before qualifying began.

Standing outside his hauler, posed as a fire engine-red Target billboard, the 34-year-old Scotland native intentionally allowed his pant legs to drape over his fire-proof racing boots in an attempt to fit in with the all-American stock car fraternity.

Open wheel purists, his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate and counterpart Juan Montoya included, typically tuck their pant legs into their racing boots.

Fire suit etiquette is one finite detail in a list of a hundred Franchitti, the 2007 Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series champion, is eager to learn on his road to becoming a successful NASCAR Cup driver.

And like his teammate Montoya, also an Indianapolis 500 champ and former CART driver, you have to start somewhere and that somewhere happened to be Thursday at Talladega Superspeedway.

After completing an estimated 16 practice laps Thursday in his stock car debut on the high banks of 'Dega, Franchitti qualified his No. 42 Dodge sixth for Friday's ARCA race. He held on to the proverbial pole most of the qualifying session but then was eventually knocked off by teammate Bryan Clauson.

"I'm happy with the result, but I honestly think it was more about the crew guys and the preparation they did on this car," Franchitti said. "I think the thing I'm most looking forward to is getting in the draft tomorrow in morning warm-up to see what the race is going to be like."

It was progress, even a major milestone perhaps from where the newcomer began in his first ARCA practice at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday.

While seasoned stock car drivers know just about every crack and cranny on the 'Dega Superspeedway, Franchitti was merely trying to find his way around the car.

"I had to show him where reverse was," chuckled Brian Pattie, Franchitti's crew chief. "I said 'down, left and up.' "

But to Franchitti's credit, one NASCAR official reportedly asked the driver if he spoke English.

Last time we checked, English has always been the official language of Scotland.

He may speak with a Scottish accent, but it's English nevertheless. And he comes from the other side of the racetrack, so to speak, but he's still a racer, added Pattie.

"They all wear a helmet," he said.

And seemingly, Franchitti is quickly blending into the NASCAR environment, an environment that can be likened to a high school cafeteria: Cool kids at one table and outcasts at the other.

Franchitti's transport driver Bill Cole predicts his driver will be comfortable at any table.

"I worked for a lot of drivers and most don't give two cats who you are, but Dario seems like he wants to know everyone," he said. "This morning I was cooking breakfast for the guys and [Dario] made a point to say hello and shake everyone's hand."

Landon Cassill, 18-year-old driver for Hendrick Motorsports who was unable able to qualify due to a transmission issue, echoed those sentiments after meeting Franchitti for the first time in the ARCA drivers' meeting.

"He was in front of me and just turned around and introduced himself," Cassill said. "I was like 'wow; you would never guess he was an Indy 500 champ'."

The two talked about the Talladega track and Franchitti even paid yCassill a compliment on his Busch Series run in St. Louis.

"It was just like I was talking to my friend, [Brian] Clauson," he said.

After signing a multiyear contract to drive the No. 40 at Chip Ganassi Racing, Franchitti will become the first European driver to compete full time in NASCAR's premier series.

He admitted his mind was made up to make the switch to NASCAR before he won the IndyCar series championship.

Various reasons factored into Franchitti's decision to leave the IndyCar Series for NASCAR, and although he said it was minor, safety was one of them.

Franchitti experienced a handful of crashes during his most recent and final IndyCar season. Two of them, one in Michigan then another in Kentucky, sent the driver airborne, nose over tail at speeds more than 200 mph.

During the first wreck at Michigan, Franchitti and Dan Wheldon made contact sending Franchitti's car flipping. It was then hit again by Scott Dixon, a driver in the Ganassi IndyCar stable, resulting in a seven-car incident.

The second flip came a week later in Kentucky when Franchitti crossed the start-finish line to finish the race. Franchitti crashed into the back of Kosuke Matsuura, flipped again, and then hit the outside wall.

With advances in safety and technology, Franchitti walked away from both incidents, however the driver, with nearly three decades of racing experience, was a bit rattled.

"After the second one in Kentucky, I didn't have a good feeling. It was not a comfortable feeling. I worried about what could've been," Franchitti said.

Various media reports alleged Franchitti's wife, actress Ashley Judd, urged her husband to leave the IndyCar Series because of safety reasons, however, Franchitti denied the rumors and said his wife has always supported his decisions.

"Racing is dangerous, everyone knows that, but safety was only a tiny reason why I came to NASCAR."

Franchitti's ARCA RE/MAX Series 250 race will air live on SPEED at 4 p.m. ET Friday.


A class act and exactly why I'm a fan :)


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/05/2007 08:30PM by DaveEllis.
Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: September 03, 2008 10:39AM
Posted by: DaveEllis
And now the reverse happens.

Ganassi has shut down the #40 permanently and Dario has been given Dan Wheldons #10 IndyCar seat for Ganassi. Just when he was improving at this stock car stuff too.

Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: September 03, 2008 06:25PM
Posted by: SachaAohen
It seems Brian Clauson will drive #10 Ganassi car for the remainder of the season, while Dario will start next season,or maybe in surfers p.

Anyway next season looks bit better for Indycars, and with addition of Road America, Cleveland???, it might become mid '90 series again. They only need to drop that stupid engine draw, and encourage alternative manufacturer to join in.

Date: August 05, 2007 08:59AM
Posted by: Locke Cole (IP Logged)

I post what I want, where I want. Whether or not anybody else posts there is irrelevant.
Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: September 03, 2008 06:30PM
Posted by: chet
Is this from now or from next year?

Where will this leave dan? I read a rumour on a forum about Panther racing but?

edit - should make next year interesting!

"Trulli was slowing down like he wanted to have a picnic" LOL

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2008 06:31PM by chet.
Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: September 03, 2008 06:31PM
Posted by: DaveEllis
It seems Brian Clauson will drive #10 Ganassi car for the remainder of the season, while Dario will start next season,or maybe in surfers p

Clausons in the 40.

Engine rules for Indy change in 2010/2011, along with new chassis.

Re: Franchitti to Ganassi?
Date: September 03, 2008 07:23PM
Posted by: NeoLiot
Franchitti will drive #10 in 2009... i guess Dan Wheldon will continue until the end of the season...

by the way... Wheldon will replace Vitor Meira at Panther in 2009...

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