|Chip Ganassi is making a change|
A team spokesperson confirmed today that EGR will lease engines from Hendrick Motorsports next season, ending its partnership in the ECR engine-building operation. Teresa Earnhardt, widow of seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt, is a financial partner in both Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines.
Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing drivers Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya currently rank 20th and 22nd in Sprint Cup championship points, with only five Top-10 finishes in 66 combined starts this season. This is the second consecutive disappointing season for EGR, and sources say a lack of horsepower has hindered McMurray, Montoya and RCR drivers Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard.
Unconfirmed reports say ECR engines have often conceded as much as 25 horsepower to the competition this season, and team owner Chip Ganassi is unwilling to wait any longer for the problem to be solved.
“I can confirm that we are making a move for the 2013 season,” said Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing President Steve Lauletta today. “We’re looking at everything as we prepare for next year. We’ve had a lot of conversations with both ECR and Hendrick, and based on those conversations, we determined that it was in our best interest to make a change.”
Richard Childress told reporters at Texas Motor Speedway today that he was not surprised by the move, adding, “It won't affect us in any way.”
"It's as good as it ever was," said Childress of the Welcome, NC-based engine program. "We just hired two new EFI people and we're still growing it. We're going to have a strong engine shop. We'll be fine."
He said longtime customer Furniture Row Racing will remain with the company in 2013, adding that “a couple” new clients could also be added. He said the Earnhardt-Childress Racing name will remain unchanged.