Motorsport team owner Chip Ganassi, whose teams include the No. 1 and No. 42 entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be honored on Thursday with the inaugural Cameron R. Argestinger Award. The award is to recognize Ganassi’s contributions to motorsports and will be prsented to him at the 2014 International Motor Racing Research Center Award Dinner at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y., by the IMRRC. The ceremony will be presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, site of this weekend’s Nationwide and Sprint Cup series races.
Speakers during the ceremony will include Chip Ganassi Racing Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray, IndyCar Senior Vice President of Competition Brian Barnhart, SCCA President and CEO Lisa Noble, and 1986 Indidanapolis 500 champion Bobby Rahal. ESPN commentator Dr. Jerry Punch will serve as Master of Ceremonies.
The namesake of the award, Cameron R. Argestinger, is considered by many to be the father of American road racing, as he drove the first post-war road race in America in Watkins Glen. He was responsible for bringing Formula One to The Glen in 1961. The series raced at the track for 20 years. Argestinger served as IMRRC President for five years. He passed away in 2008.
“It is significant that Chip Ganassi, as the first recipient of this award, has demonstrated the same type of determination and commitment to excellence (as Argestinger),” IMRRC President J.C. Argetsinger said.
Ganassi-owned teams across several forms of motorsport have won 17 championships over the last 24 years and his IndyCar teams have won four Indianapolis 500s. In 2012, Ganassi was named by Complex Magazine as one of the 50 Most Influential People in the Auto Industry.
Ganassi has been a NASCAR team owner since 2001. In those years he has 11 wins, including a win each in the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400, both coming with McMurray behind the wheel. Other drivers who have won in Ganassi-owned Sprint Cup cars include Sterling Marlin and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Proceeds from the dinner and award ceremony will benefit IMRRC. The IMRRC is an archival library that was established to preserve the history of motorsports through a collection of books, periodicals, film, photographs, fine art, etc.