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Ganassi admits EGR must do better in 2012

Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team boss Chip Ganassi has admitted that the team's 2011 Sprint Cup season had been "just pathetic", but says improvement is on the way.
"Hopefully this is the last time I have to say we finished 21st and 27th in points last year," said Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team owner Chip Ganassi during the second day of NASCAR pre-season media activity. "That's just pathetic for a team with our ability and our resources. Simple as that."

2011 is certainly a year that Ganassi, the team and its drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray will be keen to see firmly in the rear-view mirror. No wins for either driver, and just two top-fives and eight top-10s for Montoya. But how is Ganassi going to ensure that 2012 is any different?

"After last year, we had to start over in a lot of areas," said Ganassi in his trademark blunt, no-nonsense way. "You either have it or you don't ... If you're working, good. If you're not, you'd better make some changes."

EGR has said goodbye to veterans Steve Hmiel, Ed Nathman and Tony Glover, and brought in Chris Heroy as Montoya's new crew chief, John Probst as technical director and Max Jones as head of competition.

"These two cars are probably the best-funded cars in the garage," said new arrival Max Jones. "Chip provides the team with everything they need. You have great drivers in Jamie and Juan. We should be able to put all the pieces together and win races."

"It's just a matter of putting the right people in place and letting them do their job," explained Ganassi of the sweeping changes he's made throughout the team during the off-season. "It was obviously time to make a change. We took a big swipe at it. I'm certainly happy with the people we have. If more changes need to be done, we'll do that as well."

He's sticking with his drivers, though - at least for the time being. There had been rumours that Montoya in particular was unhappy with the competitiveness of EGR last year and had cast around for a seat elsewhere - with Red Bull Racing a particular possibility, before the shock news of its closure emerged during the summer put paid to any such possibility.

Now, Montoya seems happy that he's re-signed with his long-time mentor and that things are looking up for them both

"I know it's very early, but you can see the changes. You can see there's a direction where we're going. The team is heading somewhere," said Montoya. "Sometimes before it was like: 'What are we doing?' There were a lot of long faces and no answers. Now there's a direction, and there's so much potential."

"Like so many other sports, racing's about momentum. We want to start out fast, and certainly success can breed success," said Ganassi. "As for 2012, the great thing is you get to start all over again," he continued.



Related Pictures

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Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, answers media questions. [Photo Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP]
Juan Pablo Montoya, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, and team owner Chip Ganassi [Photo Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP]
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Johnson advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS races to win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory with his daughter, Ella Sofia Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Derrike Cope, driver of the #70 youtheory Chevrolet, and Jamie Dick, driver of the #55 VIVA Auto Group Chevrolet, spin out after an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position Friday, September 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon is in the Chase. Sunday will determine who advances to the next phase of the Chase, the Contender 12.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS qualified for fifth position Friday, September 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS captured the pole position Friday, September 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Harvick is in the Chase. Sunday will determine who advances to the next phase of the Chase, the Contender 12. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS captured the pole position Friday, September 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. With him are his wife, DeLana and son, Keelan. Harvick is in the Chase. Sunday will determine who advances to the next phase of the Chase, the Contender 12.  (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Both Johnson and Harvick are in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Belkin/Wemo Chevrolet SS finished in fourth place and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS finished in fifth place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Designate A Driver Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harvick is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished in 26th place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Gordon is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS qualified for sixth position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Johnson is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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