Helton to present Chip Ganassi with award
August 04, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
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NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi will be awarded the inaugural Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for his contributions to motorsports on Thursday. The award will be given by the International Motor Racing Research Center at the 2014 IMRRC Award Dinner honoring Chip Ganassi presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Watkins Glen International.
Some of racing's top figures, including NASCAR President Mike Helton, will be honoring Ganassi, who fields the No. 1 and No. 42 Sprint Cup Series rides, driven by Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson, respectively. Ganassi also fields cars in the Verizon INDYCAR and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series.
The event will be held at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.
McMurray, who will be competing in this weekend's Cup race at Watkins Glen, will also take a turn at the podium, as will Brian Barnhart, INDYCAR senior vice president, competition, and SCCA president and CEO Lisa Noble.
ESPN commentator Dr. Jerry Punch will be the master of ceremonies, and 1986 Indy 500 champion Bobby Rahal will speak as chairman of the IMRRC Governing Council.
To date, Ganassi's teams have won 17 championships in his 24 years of ownership, including four Indy 500 titles. In 2012, the Duquesne University graduate and former part owner of his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates, was named one of the "50 Most influential People in the Auto Industry" by Complex Magazine.
The proceeds of the dinner will benefit the IMRRC, an archival library dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of motorsports, covering all series and all venues through its collections of books, periodicals, films, photographs, fine art and other materials. The IMRRC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
The Cameron R. Argetsinger Award is named for the man who is often referred to as the father of American road racing. Argetsinger was a visionary who, in 1948, conceived, organized and drove in the first post-war road race in America through the roads of Watkins Glen. He brought Formula One to Watkins Glen International in 1961, and the circuit hosted the United States Grand Prix for 20 years.
"It is significant that Chip Ganassi, as the first recipient of this award, has demonstrated the same type of determination and commitment to excellence," IMRRC President J.C. Argetsinger said.
Cameron Argetsinger was president of the IMRRC for five years, until his death in 2008.
The Paul Revere-style, glass-bowl trophy created for the Cameron Argetsinger Award is reminiscent of the sterling silver bowls Argetsinger presented to winners decades ago. The trophy was designed and created by Daniel Sherlock of Hawke + Axel in Corning, New York. The permanent trophy will be displayed at the IMRRC.
Motorsports artist Bob Gillespie was commissioned by the IMRCC for a painting depicting Ganassi's career. The piece, named "Crimson Cloud," will be auctioned at the dinner.