SEPTEMBER 8, 2007
Scotsman bound for NASCAR?
Chip Ganassi Racing is expected to announce next week that Scotland's Dario Franchitti will drive in the NASCAR Nextel Cup next year, at the wheel of an Energizer-sponsored Dodge. The car is currently being driven by David Stremme but with Coors deciding not to renew its 14-year relationship with the team next year and Stremme having struggled for good results Ganassi has been looking for a new team-mate for Juan Pablo Montoya and Reed Sorenson. There is vague talk that the team will expand to four cars but there is no evidence that the team has the money for such a scheme. Energizer has long been an associate sponsor for the Target Dodge in the Nextel Cup Series and on both Target Chip Ganassi Racing cars in the Indy Racing League with drivers Scott Dixon and Dan Wheldon.
Franchitti will undergo a racing programme similar to that used by Montoya with races in a number of series, including ARCA and the NASCAR Busch Series.
As Formula 1 continues to undermine itself with its politics, NASCAR continues to edge closer to global expansion. The first step in the process is to build up interest with drivers from different countries.
Expansion will then follow.