This morning, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced that Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball would be their drivers in 2011. As has been rumored, this will be a satellite team in addition to Target Chip Ganassi Racing which will continue to field Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon as their drivers.
Don Prudhomme’s former NHRA shop out of Brownsburg, Indiana will play host to this newly formed team.
Graham Rahal found himself in utter turmoil last offseason, as his McDonald’s sponsorship at Newman Haas completely disappeared. But almost immediately, rumors started spreading that he was working with a major team for a 2011 seat since it was already too late to begin work on anything major for 2010. Robin Miller broke the story that Graham would land with Chip Ganassi, and today that story came true with a few interesting twists.
Graham will be driving the #38 entry sponsored by Service Central / National Tire and Battery.
Charlie Kimball is an American driver who was born in England, but spent most of his youth in the US. His racing background includes karting, Forumla Dodge US, Formula Ford US and UK, British Formula Three, Formula Three Euroseries, Renault Formula 3.5, A1GP (for Team USA) and Indy Lights. In 2007, Charlie was hospitalized for Type 1 diabetes and now uses a wireless blood sugar monitor while racing. He has teamed with Novo Nordisk to help raise awareness for diabetes prevention and maintenance.
For 2011, Charlie will drive the #83 sponsored by Novo Nordisk.
One of the themes of this press conference was the expanding opportunities found in the IndyCar Series. It is a very positive thing to see two American drivers hired to run for a top tier name such as Chip Ganassi. Many have referred to this operation as a development team for Chip’s organization. It is highly unlikely that Novo Nordisk and NTB are able to provide the level of funding that Target brings to the big team. That said, I have new respect for Chip who has now committed to developing young talented American drivers inside his top tier organization, instead of leaving that work to teams with less funding and resources.
4 Thoughts to “INDYCAR – An American Revolution, Rahal and Kimball to Drive for Chip”
I think I have seen this article before lol 😉
Great news for the series and both of these drivers. I really look forward to watching this team in 2011. Especially to see how it compares against the varsity team.
The thing that I’m excited about is that this is the second Firestone Indy Lights driver this week that’s been confirmed for a ride in the IZOD IndyCar Series. That’s a very positive step from where we’d been in the past in regards to graduating talent from Indy Lights to IndyCar, and things are looking good for Hinchcliffe and Vernay as well.
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I agree Doug. It is sweet that FIL is getting such representation in the big cars. On top of that we have Americans. Rahal, Kimball, Patrick, Hunter-Reay, Andretti & Hildebrand. With the strong possibility that Vernay and maybe some others…. and it’s only December.
As tempting as it is to wish 2012 was upon us so we could see the new cars, aero kits and engines, I am thoroughly excited about the momentum the series appears to be gaining and the prospect of another exciting championship in 2011.
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