Petersen Automotive Museum: New Exhibit Honors Motorsports Legend Chip Ganassi

Petersen Vice Chairman Bruce Meyer, Chip Ganassi, and Charles Nearburg open the proceedings in fine style.

December 14: The Petersen Automotive Museum opens: the “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success 30th Anniversary Tribute” exhibit pays homage to the numerous IndyCar, NASCAR and IMSA racing successes of Chip Ganassi.  Reported by guest editor Stuart Rowlands … photos by author and courtesy the Petersen Museum

Hot off the racetrack, their faces still dirty, these iconic Ganassi sports cars still seem to be sweating … snarling.

Arrayed in all their racing glory (and still sporting a few combat wounds) 10 iconic examples of Ganassi’s racing vehicles are now on display in the Charles Nearburg Family Gallery including the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish at the Indianapolis 500; the Lexus-powered 2006 Riley MK XI raced by Scott Dixon at the 24 Hours at Daytona; the 2010 Dallara IR-05 driven to victory at the Indianapolis 500; the 2016 Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE Pro category 50 years after Ford’s iconic first-, second- and third-place victories in 1966; and the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch.

… We’re going to need a MUCH sturdier trophy case!  Mister Ganassi smiles for the cameras with a couple of his trinkets …

Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’ will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.”

A fixture in the auto-racing industry for more than 30 years, Chip Ganassi is considered one of the most successful and innovative team owners the sport has ever seen. Following a strong career as a driver, Ganassi created his own one-car IndyCar team in 1990. The team’s track record includes 16 championships and 200 victories. It is the only team to win the Indianapolis 500 (four times), the Brickyard 400, 24 Hours at Daytona (seven times), 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Adding to the prestige, it is also the only team to win 24 Hours at Daytona three times consecutively and the only team to win 24 Hours at Daytona, the Daytona 500, the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 in one 12-month span. 

Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. To learn more about the Petersen Automotive Museum, please visit www.Petersen.org. – Stuart Rowlands

“And, In This Corner:” three NASCAR gnarlies look ready to pounce … there’s a seriousness about these cars.

And now, in no particular order:
SKIP’S TOP SEVEN:

1) I thought I had a bunch of race cars … I didn’t know I had a “COLLECTION”.

2) Michael Andretti sparked my first race team.

3) Racing rewards tenure.

4) My favorite race car is the last win – my next favorite is my next win.

5) I’ve been blessed over the years to have great people, great drivers, and great sponsors.

6) My heroes are Parnelli and Mario – I got my first autograph (Mario’s) when I was 12 years old.

7) When I first got into racing I got an awful lot of help and lifts to the races on their aircraft from Carl Haas and Roger Penske…After I started winning the offers of rides on their aircraft to races stopped.

About Petersen Automotive Museum:

Tales were told … and stories heard: Museum Executive Director Karges mixed it up with honored guest Ganassi (Ian Wood photo)

The Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity. The museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd. at Fairfax) in Los Angeles. Admission prices are $16 for general admission adults, $14 for seniors and $11 for children ages 4 to 17. Active military with ID, personal care attendants and children under age 4 are admitted free. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For general information, call 323-930-CARS or visit www.Petersen.org.