Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Chip Ganassi Racing’s early season results could be cause for concern

While things have been going great for Chip Ganssi on the NASCAR side with Kyle Larson so far this year, there may be cause for concern for the car owner with Verizon IndyCar Series team.

At St. Petersburg to open up the season, Scott Dixon finished in a quiet fourth after running inside the top 10 throughout the day. Tony Kanaan scored a sixth place finish after an even quieter day that saw him gracefully move up the running order after starting 10th. Ryan Briscoe rounded out the top 10, while Charlie Kimball struggled to a 20th place finish.

In the second race of the season at Long Beach, Dixon was the highest finishing driver in 12th. Dixon led some laps late in the race, though had to pit with two laps to go for fuel. Dixon would be the only driver in the top 15 for Ganassi as Biscoe fought electrical issues, Kanaan got caught up the mid-race multi-car crash while Kimball blew his motor.

So far this year, none of the Ganassi cars have shown the promise that they normally have shown in previous seasons that has led to being known as one of the top teams in the series and winning last year’s championship.

So based on the results so far, is there cause for concern? Absolutely.

To run into mechanical issues is something that a team itself can work at preventing with measures that they take. It could also mean the start of future issues throughout hte season with their manufacture Chevrolet. If that’s the case, it could be a problem for a big part of the field, including Team Penske, as they use Chevrolet also. The issues that both Briscoe and Kimball faced need to be addressed immediately.

To be taken out in a wreck is a pure chance deal – however running mid-pack before the wreck isn’t a chance deal. The performance clearly hasn’t been there this year and if there’s no performance, there’s no chance at winning races and the championship.

There were questions over the off-season whether Dario Franchitti’s retirement could impact hte organization with regards to information flow. Is this the beginning of those effects? Quite possibly as his retirement combined with Kanaan and Briscoe being new to the organization could be the curveball that Ganassi is facing right now.

If Ganassi doesn’t out their issues sooner than later, this could be a long season for the experienced car owner and team.

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