Ganassi gets ‘great offer,’ sells NASCAR team

NASCAR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chip Ganassi has sold his NASCAR team to Justin Marks, owner of Trackhouse Racing, and will pull out of the nation’s top stock car series at the end of this season.

Ganassi fields two cars in the Cup Series but will transfer his North Carolina race shop and all its assets to Marks for 2022.

“He made me a great offer that required my attention,” Ganassi told The Associated Press on Wednesday as the sale was announced.

“I’m not out of racing, I’m just out of NASCAR,” Ganassi said. “I still have an IndyCar team. I still have an IMSA sports car team. I still have a Formula E team. I had an offer that I was required to consider.”

Chip Ganassi Racing began as an open-wheel team that grew into one of the most successful organizations in IndyCar. The Pittsburgh-based owner expanded into NASCAR in 2001 and has fielded at least two cars every season since.

Ganassi won the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400, two of the biggest races in NASCAR, with Jamie McMurray in 2010. He currently fields a pair of Chevrolets for Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain.

Ganassi’s IndyCar team is a four-car program that features six-time series champion Scott Dixon and current points leader Alex Palou. He will run his organization from its Indianapolis shop next season; the Concord shop will transfer to Marks.

Marks is in his first season as owner of new team Trackhouse Racing, which counts entertainer Pitbull as a co-owner. The team leased a charter this year from Spire Motorsports to run Daniel Suarez but Marks had been unable finalize a deal to purchase NASCAR’s equivalent of a franchise.

Marks has said he lost out on three charters last year as he was building Trackhouse and has balked at paying the current eight-figure asking price for one.

He instead bought an entire organization — a deal that includes both of Ganassi’s charters. Terms were not disclosed and Marks earlier Wednesday told AP he was “under a very strict” non-disclosure agreement that prevented him from discussing any details.

Marks has said he not only wanted to expand one-car Trackhouse into a two-car team, but also move the organization to Nashville, Tennessee, by 2023 and operate from the heart of Music City’s entertainment district.

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