Stewart Haas Racing

March 26, 2010 by  
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Owned by Gene Haas and Tony Stewart, and based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Stewart Haas Racing is a NASCAR Sprint Cup race team, running the #14 Office Depot Chevrolet Impala, driven by Tony Stewart, as well as the #39 United States Army Chevrolet Impala, driven by Ryan Newman. Technical support is supplied to the team by Hendrick Motorsports – also a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor. As the name would suggest, the primary sponsor for the #14 car is Office Depot, with additional sponsorship provided by Old Spice and Burger King. The #39 car is sponsored by the US Army, Tornados and Haas Automation.

Gene Haas is the founder and sole owner of Haas Automation, the largest machine tool manufacturer in the US. He was also the founder of the NASCAR race team, Haas CNC Racing, back in 2002. Working as a single car team, Haas CNC Racing entered the Nextel Cup (the predecessor of the Sprint Cup), with the team’s first race taking place on September 30, 2002. The team’s driver at the time was Jack Sprague, and he finished 35th after being involved in a crash during the race. After racing sporadically in the following years, the team moved to Kannapolis in 2006 and started fielding a second car, making its presence known on the NASCAR scene.

In late 2008 it was announced that Haas CNC Racing would join forces with Tony Stewart to form Stewart-Haas Racing, and this took place in January 2009. Tony Stewart notched up the first win for the new team in May 2009, when he took first place in the All-Star race. With an impressive list of achievements, Tony Stewart has been referred to as “one of the finest racers of his generation” in an article appearing in the New York Times in 2008. By March 2010, Stewart had competed in 40 races, with four wins, 15 top-fives, 25 top-tens and one DNF.

The second driver in the team, Ryan Newman, is certainly not short on talent having achieved 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup wins in his racing career, as well as having 7 Nationwide Series wins and one Camping World Truck Series win. With a degree in vehicle structure engineering, and his hobbies including driving and working on vintage cars, Newman is certainly dedicated to the exciting world of auto racing. Fans will no doubt be watching with keen interest as Stewart-Haas Racing tackles the 2010 season, their second as a team.

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing

March 26, 2010 by  
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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.