The Good Ship Chip, Or What’s Wrong With Ganassi

Ganassi pit

Photo from IndyRaceReviewer

Chip Ganassi, or Chip The Hutt as we affectionately refer to him (think Star Wars bar scene – Jabba’s slightly skinnier cousin) is as you are no doubt aware the churlish, toad faced head of the until recently mushrooming-ly successful Target Ganassi Racing. You may also recall the recent hack attack and theft of millions from Target customers in the news a few months back. We’re not pointing any fingers, but has Ganassi been checked out thoroughly on that one yet?

GanassiJabba Hutt

        Photos from (!) and

The Hutt’s a strange, hulking character slumped there in the IndyCar universe, which is a pretty freakish place to begin with (think From Dusk till Dawn bar scene). Amidst all the weirdness Chip  – no one ever refers to him as Mr. Ganassi – stands out, or rather sits there on that tiny scooter of his, looking very much like a volleyball perched atop a roller blade.


Photo from AP

A long time series fixture, Chip’s known for always giving insightful answers to hard working pit reporters’ questions, including most recently “I think we can win” and “I can’t hear you!” A rare bird indeed he can usually be found in the pits, his natural habitat, squatting in his stand and scowling at frightened children through the fence.


Photo from the internet

We didn’t bother to look up The Hutt’s bio – too bizarre and off-putting for us – but think he may hail from Pennsylvania or somewhere east. Have you met many people from PA? Yeah, they’re about as colorful as a toilet seat, and more frigid. That’s a fairly apt description of Chip. The Hutt. The Good Ship Chip. Chip Fat-assi. Chip Go-lastly. And finally, Chip Ghastly.

The Hutt represents some kind of weird uncomfortable presence, riding around pit lane looking like Wilson from Castaway, though less engaging, hygienic and appealing. At night Chip’s a different animal. For fun he lurks about racetrack infields feeding, occasionally pausing to lick an eyeball (think Fear and Loathing bar scene). In point of fairness, comparing the Hutt to WILSON! is brash, gratuitous and unfair to best supporting actor nominated rubber balls everywhere.

Spoken of as if he’s a rival to Penske, in truth the Chipster couldn’t carry Roger’s straight jacket and chains he uses for Will Power. He couldn’t carry Helio Castro-Neves for that matter and he’s tiny. Chip’s really more on the level of say a Pissin’ Jay Penske or even Greg Ray type IndyCar owner, but with both those defunct teams’ budgets combined, adjusted for inflation and more, much MORE.


Photo from IndyRaceReviewer

Needless to say we’re not big fans of the Hutt here at IRR as we continue to make friends up and down pit lane. His four car team costing many millions to operate (see aforementioned theft / conspiracy theory) is winless on the year which is just fine with IRR.


Photo from IndyRaceReviewer

Don’t get us wrong – TK, Dixie and the rest are exceptional drivers, exciting to watch and sometimes even fun to root for, while Target’s been a loyal sponsor of the series for a quarter century. But supporting Chip the White Whale’s another matter entirely. Ohh – my back!

Seeing him lurching up pit lane, leering with that pie-eyed smile on his pie-sized face flapping his pie-sized pie-hole and intentionally running over innocent people’s feet is sometimes just too much. And that’s for grizzled veteran race fans like us – think of the children. Some bar scenes are best avoided altogether.


6 thoughts on “The Good Ship Chip, Or What’s Wrong With Ganassi

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