Chip Ganassi to receive inaugural Cameron R. Argetsinger award Thursday from IMRRC

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Chip Ganassi

Multiple race-team owner Chip Ganassi on Thursday will receive the inaugural Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for his outstanding contributions to motorsports.

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 teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Verizon INDYCAR and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship series.

The event will be held Aug. 7 at the Corning Museum of Glass, One Museum Way, Corning.

Ganassi Racing driver Jamie McMurray, who will be competing in the weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International, also will 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.

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 would present to winners decades ago. The trophy was designed and created by Daniel Sherlock of Hawke + Axel in Corning. The permanent trophy will be displayed at the IMRRC.

Motorsports artist Bob Gillespie of Penn Yan was commissioned by the IMRCC for a painting depicting Ganassi’s career. The piece, named “Crimson Cloud,” will be auctioned at the dinner.

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.

For information about availability of tickets for the IMMRC Award Dinner and the Racing Research Center’s work and its programs, visit www.racingarchives.org or call (607) 535-9044. The Center also is on Facebook at International Motor Racing Research Center.

Much of the support for the 2014 IMRRC Award Dinner comes from NASCAR, International Speedway Corp., Watkins Glen International, Sahlen Packing Co. Inc., Corning Incorporated, Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., Chevrolet, SCCA, Welliver, Elmira Savings Bank, Glenora Wine Cellars, and others.