Team owner Chip Ganassi spoke personally with Danica Patrick and her representatives Thursday and Friday about the possibility of fielding cars for her in either the Daytona 500, Indianapolis 500, or both, but said he doesn’t yet have enough information to determine if participating in her farewell jaunt is feasible.
“I think it’s a great idea for her to do that,” Ganassi said of Patrick ending her racing career at two tracks where she has enjoyed some of her greatest success. “I think it’s a fabulous idea, a fabulous marketing idea, it’s a fabulous opportunity and obviously the business side of the deal has to work. … I’m a long way from saying ‘Yes, I can do that.’”
Patrick has expressed confidence in being able to bring sponsorship to field both ventures. Ganassi said “I would think it would be better to do it with one team.”
The team owner said he has not had time to consider when he’d need a commitment and firm details from Patrick’s camp.
Ganassi fields two-car teams in both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and IndyCar.
One of Ganassi’s Monster Energy Series drivers, Kyle Larson, is a personal friend of Patrick who has in the past expressed an interest in attempting the open wheel classic. Ganassi said he doesn’t know if Larson, who had a breakout four-win season, is still interested but said fielding a third car for him in May wouldn’t preclude partnering with Patrick for a fourth. That said, Ganassi noted doubling his roster for the Indianapolis 500 is something he would be unlikely to attempt.
“I doubt I would do four,” he said..
The only other team able to field rides in both the Monster Energy Series and IndyCar would be Team Penske, but owner Roger Penske said he has no plans to field five cars at Indianapolis again. Penske boasts a three-car IndyCar roster and will add a fourth in 2018 for three-time race champion Helio Castroneves, who will move the Penske’s sports car program next year.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!