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Old 1 Jul 2008, 20:27 (Ref:2241751)   #1
FIRE
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#40 team shuts down: what now for Franchitti?

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Ganassi's #40 team skipping Daytona, closing? hearing that the #40 Chip Ganassi Racing team of Dario Franchitti will skip the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway and has closed the team, supposedly laying off around 70 employees.(7-1-2008)
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Old 1 Jul 2008, 20:40 (Ref:2241760)   #2
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Well, that was only a matter of time...

Actually, it was only a matter of time until they found someone else to drive the car. I would be surprised if they shut the whole team down. Err...well, then again...
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Old 1 Jul 2008, 20:51 (Ref:2241768)   #3
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Sad news.
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Old 1 Jul 2008, 20:54 (Ref:2241774)   #4
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Confirmed by Ganassi:
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UPDATE: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today that due to a lack of sponsorship funding it will cease operation of the team's #40 Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Dodge driven by Dario Franchitti beginning this weekend in Daytona. "This is a difficult decision for Felix and I that did not come without its share of anguish," said Team Owner Chip Ganassi. "In this tough business environment continuing to run the car without proper funding has become increasingly difficult." CGRFS is committed to Franchitti's continued stockcar development and are currently in discussions with him on his racing options with the team which could include running the balance of the 2008 Nationwide season in the #40 Fastenal Dodge. Currently the #42 Texaco/Havoline/Juicy Fruit Dodge of Juan Pablo Montoya is 21st in owner points while the #41 Target Dodge driven by Reed Sorenson is sitting 31st in the standings.(CGRFS PR)(7-1-2008)
Source: Jayski
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Old 1 Jul 2008, 21:04 (Ref:2241781)   #5
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Mod note: given this news its own thread, it is a pretty major development.
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Old 1 Jul 2008, 21:17 (Ref:2241797)   #6
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ss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridss_collins should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
What now for Dario?
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Old 1 Jul 2008, 21:22 (Ref:2241799)   #7
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35/8 strikes again.
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Old 1 Jul 2008, 21:53 (Ref:2241837)   #8
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Dario will just do Nationwide for now. Then after that, god knows...retirement I guess?

The worst thing is the guys at the factory who've lost their jobs. I wish them the best.
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Old 1 Jul 2008, 22:23 (Ref:2241863)   #9
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V8thunderfan should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
Seems to me from the beginning Gannassi invested too much in a rookie .. all be it IRL champion he was never going to be on the pace during his first season. Its a case of setting goals too high and paying a rookie silly money .. then when the results don't come and the cheques are thin on the ground they call it all off.. End of the day big losers are the guys in the shop Gannassi has made redundant. Dario will be back in a Sprint Cup car I am sure.
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Old 1 Jul 2008, 22:28 (Ref:2241866)   #10
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Speedworx should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I'm not surprised. This has been on the cards since end of 07.
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Old 1 Jul 2008, 23:18 (Ref:2241892)   #11
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Hazard should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridHazard should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridHazard should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Seems odd. Ganassi gets things very wrong sometimes, and mostly in NASCAR it seems - it went a bit ropey in Champcar back in 2001-2002 aswell.

Franchitti's not really earned himself a decent drive elsewhere yet, and to be honest, was probably already looking at other options for 2008 anyway. I'd expect to see him back out of NASCAR entirely - that includes the Nationwide series (guessing only of course).

A fair escape for him is to go back to Indycar. With the Champcar merger, strictly speaking it's not the same series he's left so it's not quite as much a backwards step as it would seem. If he and Ganassi are still on friendly terms, a ride with them would be ideal though the Indycar team's a little crowded.

Else, back to AGR perhaps - but a great move would be to land a drive at Newman-Haas and help turn them into a top level team, or ride with them as they get there themselves.

I'm doubtful he's that interested in Sportscars. That option was clearly open to him and he decided to run towards NASCAR instead.

Anyway - all round bad news. NASCAR again becomes an all american, xenophobic little series. A shame.
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Old 2 Jul 2008, 06:16 (Ref:2241981)   #12
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nic.v814 should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
70 employees? that seems like alot for one car
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Old 2 Jul 2008, 09:11 (Ref:2242075)   #13
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I don't see Dario returning to Indycars. I get the impression that open wheel racing was something he wanted to turn his back on. He'll probably see out his Nationwide campaign and, depending on the situation, either return to Cup (highly unlikely) or go do something like ALMS.

It could be that we see him in Cup again this year if Reed is turfed out early. But again, not likely.

Not sure what xenophobia has to do with this though. Just because Franchitti has been turfed out? I'm not sure anyone really expected him to shine in this series...

Last edited by Knowlesy; 2 Jul 2008 at 09:16.
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Old 2 Jul 2008, 09:44 (Ref:2242090)   #14
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Originally Posted by Hazard
Anyway - all round bad news. NASCAR again becomes an all american, xenophobic little series. A shame.
All-American? Three letters - JPM. Carpentier too for that matter.

Don't see what xenophobia has to do with it either...JPM has proven that you don't have to be from the USA to make it in NASCAR (relative to the other open-wheelers anyway).
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Old 2 Jul 2008, 10:02 (Ref:2242098)   #15
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Mystery should be qualifying in the top 10 on the gridMystery should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
No-one could have expected Dario to have run as well as his team mates and given they're only 21st and 31st then his performances have neither been better nor worse than expected (Sonoma aside perhaps).

All very sad indeed.

Hazard - would I be right in saying your xenophobe comment is actually born out of frustration that it seems hard for someone not from the Americas (the continent) to get sponsorship in NASCAR? I don't hear the same sponsorship worries coming from many other teams, but then again maybe I wouldn't hear that over here anyway.
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