Sunday, 31 January 2016
©Rolex/Tom O'Neal - 2016 ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA - STEWART WICHT OF ROLEX WATCH USA, HARRISON SNODGRASS AND CHIP GANASSI, WINNER OF THE 2015 BOB SNODGRASS AWARD (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT).
DAYTONA, Fla. - Chip Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi, of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been named the recipient of the 2015 Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence. The announcement was made during the traditional prelude to the Rolex 24 At Daytona – the Grand Marshal Dinner – which was held at the Daytona 500 Club on Friday, January 29, 2016. From a short list of four successful team owners who competed in the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, a panel of motorsports professionals selected Ganassi.
"It's a pleasure to be here to present this award in honor of my father," said Harris Snodgrass, Bob's son, in introducing Ganassi as the winner. "First and foremost, I would like to thank Gorsline Company, the premier insurer of high-risk professionals, for continuously making this award possible.
"The fact that my father's impact on people is still relevant, and his legacy is staying alive, is more than I could ever ask for for my best friend and mentor.
"The Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence recognizes a team owner or manager who has demonstrated the qualities of honesty, integrity, passion for the sport of automobile racing and an infinite love of cars altogether. As most of you already know, these are all characteristics that made my father who he was, so the basis for this award is very fitting.
"Following racing my whole life and knowing many people in this industry, it is without a doubt that this year's candidates are all worthy of this award," added Snodgrass. "It is an honor every year to be able to present this award, because I know that my father would be very pleased knowing that the ethics he lived by were worthy of such an honor. All of these gentlemen would 'do the right thing,' which is something he always preached."
The other candidates for the 2015 award were Bobby Rahal, Kevin Buckler and Bill Riley.
A fixture in the auto racing industry for over 30 years as a race-car driver and team owner, Ganassi is considered one of the most successful and innovative owners in the sport. He currently counts two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, four in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, two in the World Endurance Championship and two cars in Global Rally Cross.
Overall, in his 26 years of ownership, Ganassi’s teams have won 18 championships including his 11th IndyCar Championship in 2015. In addition, his team picked up its sixth overall victory in the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
He manages his teams from state-of-the-art race shop facilities in Indianapolis and Concord, N.C., and a corporate office in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Ganassi was presented with a specially engraved Stainless Steel and Platinum Rolex Yacht-Master by Stewart Wicht , President and CEO of Rolex Watch USA, "a watch my father would have picked personally for this award as he loved giving it to deserving employees," added Snodgrass.
"Very well deserved, Chip. Fantastic. Congratulations," said Wicht.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm a little taken aback," said Ganassi. "I'm just a little kid from Pittsburgh who wanted to go racing. I had slot cars, go karts and things. I wanted to be a driver when I grew up. I wanted to be like Mario Andretti, or A.J. Foyt, or Rick Mears, Richard Petty. I wanted to be like those guys. And then when I got driving out of my system there were other people you run into that you kind of want to emulate. And some of those people are in this room tonight. Like Bill France, Jim France. One of the people that you would want to be like was Bob Snodgrass.
"Road racing was always in my background as a driver. I sort of came back to road racing after I was in IndyCar racing and NASCAR and so it was nice to see that there was somebody like Bob. He kind of owned what racing was all about. I think that's important.
"I thank you for this award. I can tell you that the other nominees are just as well deserving of this, although there's only one watch here, guys. I want to just say one last thing. It's a great thing in this sport to meet people and get awards, and to be a part of this. None of this would be possible without my right-hand man, Mike Hull."
The Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence was created to recognize the team owner or team manager who has demonstrated the qualities of integrity, passion for the sport and the love of cars for which Bob Snodgrass was known during his life and career. The award – supported by Gorsline Company, the premier insurer of high-risk professionals – has been presented to Bob Stallings (2010), Joe Sahlen (2011), Peter Baron (2012), John Stevenson (2013) and Alex Job (2014).
About Bob Snodgrass - Snodgrass, who passed away in 2007 at the age of 64, was president of Brumos Racing, and president and CEO of the Brumos auto dealerships in Jacksonville, Fla., where he lived for 35 years. As a team owner he had three Rolex 24 At Daytona wins (Brumos Racing has eight) and a total of 10 wins at Daytona. He was a driving force behind the formation of the Grand American Road Racing Association and the Daytona Prototype class. Born in Elmira, N.Y., he saw his first race at Watkins Glen, N.Y., and was hooked. Famous for his humor and wit and an accomplished vintage-car racer, Snodgrass (and Peter Gregg, who owned Brumos Porsche from 1965 until his death in 1980) was instrumental in Brumos' entry into motorsports.
About Rolex - Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities, as well as philanthropic programmes.
About Gorsline Company - Gorsline Company, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., pioneered the business of providing insurance for high-risk professionals. The company specializes in providing racing drivers and owners creative, custom-designed insurance packages and estate planning strategies.
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