Based in Concord, North Carolina, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (EGR) features prominently on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series scene. Jointly owned by Teresa Earnhardt, Chip Ganassi and Felix Sabates, the team is a merger of the NASCAR element of Chip Ganassi Racing and Dale Earnhardt Racing which was undertaken in order to pool resources and sponsorships in this intensely competitive sport.
Floyd “Chip” Ganassi began racing in 1981, competing in the Indianapolis 500 five times during his racing career, with his best finish being in 8th place in 1983. His career as a driver all but came to an end when he was injured in 1984, and after competing for another two years he turned his attention to managing a team. In 1990, Ganassi formed his own team, Chip Ganassi Racing, becoming active in the NASCAR circuit with the support of principle sponsor Target. In addition to being an owner in EGR, Ganassi has two cars in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype class, and two cars in the Indy Racing League.
As the widow of legendary driver Dale Earnhardt, Teresa Earnhardt has long had close ties with auto racing. She was the head of Dale Earnhardt Incorporated during two Craftsman Truck Series championships (1996, 1997), as well as during four Busch Series Championships (1998, 1999, 2004, 2005). She was team owner when DEI driver Michael Waltrip took first place at the 2001 Daytona 500 driving the #15 Chevrolet. Tragically, it was this same race in which her husband lost his life in a crash on the final lap of the race. Following the departure from the team of her step-son Dale Jr., the loss of sponsorships resulted in the merger with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist, Felix Sabates, was raised in Cuba, leaving for the US when Fidel Castro’s regime took control, stripping the Sabates family of considerable wealth. Felix was 15 years old and the first of his family to arrive in the US. The biography of Felix Sabates makes for interesting reading, showing him to be a determined individual, who has the welfare of others at heart. One of his many interests is in auto racing, resulting in his part ownership of EGR.
EGR field the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for driver Jamie McMurray, as well as the #42 Target Chevrolet for driver Juan Pablo Montoya, participating in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Having spent some time as a Formula 1 driver, Montoya has been racing for Chip Ganassi Racing since 2006, clocking up one win, 12 top-fives, 28 top-tens and 2 poles in 111 starts. When Jamie McMurray joined EGR, he did so in grand style, winning the 2010 Daytona 500 in his first race with the team. With world-class drivers and a loyal support system, no doubt fans can expect plenty of excitement from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in the years ahead.
Dale Earnhardt Inc. merged its NASCAR operations with those of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in November 2008 to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
Dale Earnhardt Racing, or Dale Earnhardt Inc., was established by Dale and Teresa Earnhardt in 1980. The humble little company has certainly grown over the years, but in 1983, Teresa was the first employee and the offices were a three-bay garage. Teresa supported Dale in all his racing ventures and all the general work that needed to be done. As the company grew, the need for more space was apparent, as they needed room for race cars and equipment. Dale and Teresa moved the company into a brick house right next to Coddle Creek Highway. They now had five offices and a few employees. Dale Earnhardt Inc also used to be the part time Busch Series team for Dale Earnhardt.
The team was extremely successful. Together they won 21 races, were placed in the top five 65 times, and were in the top 10, in 76 races. Dale Earnhardt Racing was actually just a part time job at Dale Earnhardt Inc. The company actually concentrated on merchandise and sponsorship sales, which enabled Dale Earnhardt Inc to become leaders in this field, in the fast growing popularity of racing. Some of the big sponsorships that were sold at the little office next to the Coddle Creek Highway, are still a part of Dale Earnhardt Inc. today.
Dale and Teresa Earnhardt started fielding a full time Busch Series team, and later in 1995, the took on a Craftsman Truck Series team as well. With the company going through another growth period, the little brick house became insufficient, and another building was added to accommodate them. During the second season, Dale Earnhardt Inc. was given the NASCAR Championship by NAPA and Ron Hornaday, and received the honor again in 1998. Steve Park was recruited in 1997 to take over as driver of the Busch ride for the 1997 season, with ACDelco sponsoring him. And he did not disappoint. Park went on to win three races, Rookie of the Year and took third place in regard to points accumulated.
In June 1999, Dale and Teresa opened the new Dale Earnhardt Inc headquarters, complete with showroom, administration offices, retail store, a Trophy room, and the new home to the 1 Pennzoil team. When Steve Parks decided to move on, Dale Earnhardt, already had a replacement in mind, namely Dale Earnhardt Jr. For the fourth time, they needed space, yet again. The little old brick house along the Coddle Creek Highway was torn down for the construction of a new building, and the home to Dale Earnhardt Jr and his Budweiser team.
The growth of Dale Earnhardt Inc, has made it one of the premier NASCAR racing teams. And with all its success, it has not forgotten it’s humble beginnings. The company is often involved in charitable work and functions that can improve the lives of many children, help conserve nature, and assisting in education and general wildlife preservation.