Tag:Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:11 pm
 

Max Jones new team manager at Earnhardt-Ganassi

By Pete Pistone

The management shake up at Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing continued on Wednesday.

The team named NASCAR veteran Max Jones team manager replacing Tony Glover, who was released at the end of the season.

Jones takes over the role effective immediately in preparation for the 2012 season.

Most recently Jones was president and general manager at Richard Petty Motorsports for two years from 2009 through 2010 where he oversaw the transition and successful partnership between Richard Petty Enterprises and Yates Racing which would ultimately become Richard Petty Motorsports.

 
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Posted on: December 19, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Team Review/Preview: Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing

By Pete Pistone

Image Detail
(McMurray's Brickyard 400 win of 2010 seemed like a world away after a disappointing 2011 campaign for EGR)


Review 

The team many expected to make a big move after an at-times sensational season the year before fell flat on its face in 2011. 

Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing’s tandem of Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya suffered through a dismal campaign that ended up with both missing the Chase and neither even making the first twenty in the point standings. 

It was a far cry from the previous season when team owner Chip Ganassi celebrated NASCAR wins in the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 as well as triumphs in the Indianapolis 500 and Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. 

“Very disappointed. I’m heartbroken, to tell you the truth,” Ganassi said. “We lost our way a bit. A year ago, we had the best cars. A year ago, we had the best engines. And we just lost our way here right in this building.” 

After McMurray won the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and October Charlotte race in 2010, most believed he would continue the successful trend into the new season. McMurray was a very early season favorite by many to win more races and lock down a Chase berth. 

But McMurray could only muster two top five finishes all season long and after coming hone fifth in the August Bristol race never was better than fourteenth the rest of the way. 

The result was a twenty-eighth place spot in the final standings and a very bitter taste left in the mouth of the Joplin, Missouri native.

“It's been really frustrating to have such a good season last year and struggle so much this year,” McMurray said. “We've kind of been the guy that something breaks on the car and the engine shop or wherever the failure is, they say they've never seen that before. It's just really odd.” 

Montoya could certainly empathize with his teammate’s plight also suffering through a season marred by mechanical issues as well as mediocre performances. Like McMurray, Montoya also notched only a pair of top five finishes on his way to ending up twenty first in the final Sprint Cup points.

“It just seems whatever we do is wrong,” said Montoya. “When we try to save fuel, everybody runs out of fuel, including myself. When we’ve tried to go the other way, conservative because people are running out of gas, they don’t.

“What do you do? It’s just a little bit of luck, and the luck hasn’t been on our side.” 

Along the way Montoya was involved in a few controversies as well, first enduring a crew chief change when popular Brian Pattie – who helped guide the former open wheel star to a Chase berth in 2009 – was replaced by team engineer Jim Pohlman. 

The fiery Montoya got into a feud with Ryan Newman as well this past season, a rivalry that boiled over with a number of incidents. The first came at the April Richmond race when the two made contact several times including one that appeared to be a payback by Montoya that ended up with Newman spinning into the wall. 

The two went at it again at Darlington on Mother’s Day weekend reportedly including inside the NASCAR hauler when Newman punched Montoya. 

"I'm not going to tell you s---. Let's leave it at that,” Montoya said when asked what went on behind closed doors. “What happened in the trailer was between me, Ryan Newman and NASCAR. That's it." 

Although Montoya added later "Newman hits like a girl."




Preview 

Ganassi orchestrated some major management changes inside his organization in hopes of getting his team back to a competitive level in 2012. 

Competition Director Steve Hmiel was fired, as was longtime EGR employee and team manager Tony Glover. Between them the pair have decades of experience in the sport but both were let go in a post-season shake up that also included the release of team engineer Ed Nathman. 

Pohlman returned to another spot inside the organization with Chris Heroy tabbed to now lead the No. 42 team working with Montoya. Kevin “Bono” Manion will return to McMurray’s squad and the No. 1 Chevrolet. 

Ganassi know the difficulty in trying to turn things around but vows to do whatever he can to get both his cars running competitively in the coming season.

“I’ve been in this position before so I think it’s just everybody has to get down and buckle down and work a little harder,” Ganassi told SPEED. “It’s no big secret. There’s no magic. There’s no silver bullet either. It’s just a lot of little things that we need to get back on, get focused on, get back to work on. They all know what to do. It’s just sort of outlining what we want to do, give them a plan and go attack the plan.”

 

Outlook

EGR will have its work cut out trying to pick up the pieces from the disastrous 2011 effort. While Ganassi has made some drastic changes inside the management of the company, it remains to be seen just how those will impact the weekly product on the race track. Both McMurray and Montoya suffered from a severe lack of speed last season, which was compounded by the bad luck and miscues that made their years forgettable. The untested Heroy will need to regroup the No. 42 team while Manion looks to recapture the magic he and McMurray enjoyed in 2010. Overall neither driver looks Chase-worthy heading into the 2012 season.

CHECK OUT MORE POSTS FROM OUR 2011 TEAM REVIEW/2012 PREVIEW SERIES 

For more NASCAR news, rumors and analysis, follow @PPistone on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed

 
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Posted on: November 3, 2010 5:17 pm
 

Earnhardt-Ganassi won't switch to Ford

According to multiple reports, Earnhardt-Ganassi is sticking with Chevrolet as its manufacturer.

EGR had an offer from Ford, but told employees during a luncheon on Wednesday that it has decided to continue its relationship with Chevrolet.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 11:15 am
 

Earnhardt-Ganassi mulling switch to Ford?


According to foxsports.com , Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing has been in discussions with Ford about a possible manufacturer switch.

EGR currently has an engine partnership with Richard Childress Racing -- Earnhardt Childress Racing Technologies. ECRT engines have powered eight Chevrolets to wins this season -- most notably Jamie McMurray in the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400.

If a change does come down, it could be announced this weekend at Talladega.
Posted on: July 26, 2010 10:59 am
 

Silly Season rumors make the rounds at Indy

The rumor mill was churning loudly during the Sprint Cup weekend at Indianapolis

-- Jamie McMurray can probably expect a nice raise. This year's Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 champion currently has just a one-year contract with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, but a new deal is in the works.

-- The Kasey Kahne saga still continues to impact a number of teams.

Mark Martin is upset that he's constantly being nagged about his status for next season. He insists he's not going anywhere and will be the driver of the No. 5 car for Hendrick Motorsports in 2011. However, it does sound as if Hendrick would rather have Kahne in the seat if at all possible.

Meanwhile, Mike Mulhern reports that talks to put Kahne in Phoenix Racing's 09 car have fallen through and that James Finch will likely shut down or sell his operation at the end of the season.

-- ESPN.com reports that Budweiser could be headed to Kevin Harvick 's No. 29 car at that an announcement may come at Watkins Glen. Harvick's current sponsor Shell/Pennzoil is moving to Penske Racing's No. 22 car where it will sponsor Kurt Busch starting in 2011. The Shell arrangement left Mobil 1 the odd sponsor out at Penske and it could wind up at Stewart Haas.

-- Scene Daily reports that Red Bull is still contemplating whether to bring back Scott Speed for another season. In his second season, Speed sits 26th in points but he has been running at the finish of every race this season. A year ago he had eight DNFs. He has just three top 10s in 60 career starts in the Cup Series.

 
 
 
 
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