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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]
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, races Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. With him are Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finished second, and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet SS who finished in third place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, waves to fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, picks up the victory flag Sunday, May 3, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and his crew chief, Greg Ives, celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. Johnson finished second behind Earnhardt, Jr. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford, Kenny Wallace, driver of the #26 JGL Racing Toyota, Ryan Sieg, driver of the #39 Uncle Bob`s Self Storage Chevrolet, and John Wes Townley, driver of the #25 Zaxby`s Chevrolet, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Winn Dixie 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 2, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Earnhardt, Jr. is eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS, qualifies for second position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Kahne is sixth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate and Pole winner Jeff Gordon, driver of the #5 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, wins the Pole position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Gordon is tenth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS will join him on the front row Sunday. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 1, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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