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Felix Sabates Interview on ceasing operations of #40 Team July 2, 2008

Posted by claireblang in Breaking News, Drivers.
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Shot by The Daredevil at Daytona during Speedw...Image via WikipediaNASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced (Tuesday) that due to a lack of sponsorship funding it will cease operation of the team’s No. 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Dodge driven by Dario Franchitti beginning this weekend in Daytona.

Felix Sabates told Claire B. Lang on “Dialed In” on XMSN (XM Channel 144) Tuesday evening that a number “in the low 70’s” of employees have been laid off.

CBL: You didn’t have a sponsor – people forget this team was unsponsored:

Sabates: “What happened to us we kind of got hung out to dry by Coors. Coors was with me for almost ten years and they had a management change and the new people come over and told us don’t worry about it – don’t look for a sponsor we’re going to be back with you in 2008, 2009 so we never looked for any sponsors and come October they come and tell us well Coors is going to do something else. They’re going to sponsor the NASCAR Coors pole and this and that so then it was too late (for the 2008 season)…so we have been running all year long without a sponsor.”

CBL: Talk about the options for Dario Franchitti:

Sabates: “Dario had a hard time with it. He made a change from the Indy Racing League to come here. But truth of the matter is he needs more seat time. We gave him an option to go in the Nationwide car because we do have a sponsor for the #40 Nationwide car. He’s going to decide what he’s going to do in the next few days and maybe he’ll be racing in Chicago (Nationwide race July 11)…..I hope he does get in the Nationwide car. He’s a very talented driver and if he gets a few more months under his belt maybe we can get a sponsor for next year and we can go racing next year.

Sabates told CBL on the cost of running the team and how much he’s paid to keep it running: – “It cost you $20 to $21, $22 million dollars to run a competitive team and if you run 15 races and you don’t have any money coming in you have already lost $10 or $11 million dollars.”

Sabates on Dario’s choices: “Chip pretty much told him if he wanted to go to back to Indy that, because it doesn’t cost near as much money there as it does here, and over there Chip is the Rick Hendrick of over here – so he can get a sponsor for an IRL car very easily. So he got his choice – if he wants to drive the Nationwide Car – get some more experience, maybe we’ll get a sponsor for next year or go back to the IRL it’s up to Dario – he has a contract and we intend to honor it.”

Sabates on what he thinks Dario will do: “At the end of the day – I think he will get in the Nationwide car- he needs more seat time anyway.”

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