Tag:Dario Franchitti
Posted on: September 2, 2008 3:36 pm

Franchitti back to the IRL, replacing Wheldon

Interesting news out of Chip Ganassi Racing today.

Dario Franchitti is returning to the IRL to race for Ganassi, replacing Dan Wheldon who's leaving for a "very exciting opportunity for 2009."  Coud it be a NASCAR gig? He's mentioned the possibility in the past, but I can't imagine he'd make the jump with Penske, which is basically the best available seat left in the Cup Series for 2009.

Chip Ganassi:

“Dan Wheldon has done everything this organization has asked of him.  He was competitive from the moment that he stepped into the car for us back in 2006 and has provided Target Chip Ganassi Racing many highlights over his three years with the team.  Dan is a class act both on and off the track and we wish him nothing but the best.”

Dan Wheldon:

"I have enjoyed these last three seasons with Target Chip Ganassi Racing, but will be moving on to pursue a very exciting opportunity for 2009.

"I want to personally thank Target and the whole Chip Ganassi Racing organization for the success and enjoyment we shared together. With that said, I will certainly miss my working relationship with Scott Dixon and wish him and the team all the best for this weekend at Chicagoland.

"I will be announcing my plans for next season in the near future. In the meantime I want to focus my efforts on winning the last race of the season. I wish the team well for 2009 and beyond."

Posted on: July 1, 2008 6:18 pm

What now for Franchitti?

First off, in case you haven't heard, Chip Ganassi has shut down Dario Franchitti's No. 40 Spint Cup car.

Ganassi says he closed it because of a lack of sponsorship. And while on the face of things that's true, let's face facts, Franchitti wasn't getting the job done. Franchitti still has the option of driving Ganassi's Nationwide car, but as of right now it was unclear whether he planned to do so.

I dare say Franchitti's move to stock-car racing was the worst career decision ever made by an athlete. (Well maybe not as bad as Michael Jordan from greatest NBA player ever to minor league baseball, but it's up there.) From Indy 500 and IndyCar Series champion to an out of work stock-car racer in less than a year.

The decision to move to stock cars wasn't made on a whim -- at least I don't think it was -- but I wonder if he still would have made the move had he known Champ Car and IndyCar were going to end their feud.

He's better off back in IndyCar. That's his niche. Surely there's an IndyCar team that will give him a ride, maybe even Ganassi. I think it would be a mistake if he continues to soldier on in stock cars.

Jordon eventually figured out he stunk at baseball and went back to what he does best. Franchitti should do the same. I think he has a few wins left in him, just not in a stock car.

Category: Auto Racing
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