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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]
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS, qualified seventh Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Menard is 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Harvick is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, captured the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan NASCAR Sprint Cup 400 race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates capturing the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his first Sprint Cup win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his first Sprint Cup win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, won the pole position Saturday, August 9, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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