Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chip Ganassi Set to Double Up IndyCar Champion Team

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Chip GanassiReigning IZOD IndyCar Series championship owner Chip Ganassi will be doubling his efforts in the series in 2011, adding two additional cars to his trophy stable.

The team, which would not confirm or comment on the long-rumored news, has scheduled a press conference Thursday in Indianapolis where Ganassi will introduce the newest additions to a driver lineup that already features two-time defending series champ Dario Franchitti and former two-time champ Scott Dixon.

Second-generation driver Graham Rahal -- son of 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal -- and Charlie Kimball, 25, a young talent moving up from the feeder Indy Lights Series, will campaign for Ganassi next year, working out of a "satellite" team shop rented from drag racing legend Don Prudhomme.

Rahal, 21, is the youngest IndyCar Series winner in history, scoring his only victory in the 2008 season-opener at St. Petersburg, Fla. However, he did not race full time last season. Kimball will be making his debut in the series.

Thursday's announcement will also confirm full-time sponsorship for both Rahal and Kimball -- significant for the series, which had several high-profile teams struggling to find primary corporate backing in 2010. In a unusual twist, Rahal actually announced a two-year sponsorship deal with TBC Corporation -- which owns several automobile tire retailers -- at this season's finale in Homestead, Fla. before having a contract in place with a team.


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