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January 28, 2018

Rolex 24 victory marks a milestone for Chip Ganassi

RELATED: Action Express takes overall Rolex 24 victory | Full Rolex 24 results

Team owner Chip Ganassi is known for including the hashtag #ILikeWinners in various tweets and there’s a reason behind it.

He’s taken a liking to now winning 200 times, to be exact.

Ganassi scored his 200th victory as a car owner in Sunday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, the season-opening endurance race for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series.

The No. 67 Ford GT co-driven by Ryan Briscoe (Australia), Richard Westbrook (England) and Scott Dixon (New Zealand) took victory in the GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. The milestone was made even more special as the No. 66 Ford GT shared by Dirk Mueller, Joey Hand and Sebastien Bourdais finished second, making it a 1-2 finish for the Ganassi-owned group.

The 200 victories are spread across four different disciplines of motorsports — NASCAR, IMSA, IndyCar and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Ganassi gave the starting command for the weekend’s Rolex 24, then watched his cars lead all but nine of the 783 laps completed in their class.

It was the team’s record eighth win in the Rolex 24 — the second straight in class, plus six more victories overall.

“No team orders, just 24 hours of intense racing,” Ganassi driver Westbrook told FOX Sports television with a huge grin as the pits emptied in celebration.

Before the race, Ganassi admitted that winning 200 races was the furthest thing from his mind (sort of).

“I want to win the race, I’m not worried about number 200 or number 300,” Ganassi said. “But,” he conceded with a smile, “certainly to get the 200th at a historical event would be a feather in our cap.”

After Ganassi added feather No. 200 to his storied racing cap, his fleet of NASCAR drivers — Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and John Hunter Nemechek — hopped on Twitter to congratulate their boss.