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Famous Team Owners in Both NASCAR AND IndyCar

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With the recent rumors of Michael Andretti and Andretti Autosport looking at NASCAR, it got us thinking about IndyCar owners who have tried their hand at NASCAR. Some owners may be easily recognizable, while others have not. Who are some of the best IndyCar owners in NASCAR?

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Roger Penske

Who else but “The Captain” could start off this list? Roger Penske has been a part of IndyCar since the 1960s, and now he owns both the series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, he has also been in NASCAR for longer than people may think.

He dabbled in the sport throughout the 1970s with drivers like Bobby Allison Mark Donahue, and Dave Marcis. He entered into NASCAR for good with a full-time entry for Rusty Wallace in 1991. Wallace stayed with the team through 2005 in the iconic “Blue Deuce” winning 37 career races.

Penske won his first Daytona 500 with Ryan Newman in 2008, but a Cup Series Championship just seemed to always slip away. In 2012, Penske finally won his first career Cup Series Championship as an owner with Brad Keselowski. Penske has now won 137 races and three championships as a NASCAR car owner.

Chip Ganassi

Chip Ganassi has been involved in all sorts of motorsports from NASCAR to IndyCar to sports cars. He is a multi-time champion in IndyCar with all-time greats like Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti driving for Ganassi. In NASCAR, however, Ganassi was very competitive.

He got into NASCAR fully as a team owner in 2001 with Sterling Marlin as his driver. The iconic “Silver Bullet” 40 car with Coors Light sponsorship became synonymous with Ganassi. Marlin was leading the points for the majority of the 2002 season before injuries did him in.

Ganassi would never get closer to a Cup Series Championship. He would still get winners from some top notch drivers including Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, and Juan Pablo Montoya. Ganassi left NASCAR after the 2020 season when he was bought out by Justin Marks to make what is now known as Trackhouse Racing.

A.J. Foyt

A surprise maybe to some, A.J. Foyt actually owned a NASCAR team for a while. The four-time Indianapolis 500 winner still owns an IndyCar to this day, but his NASCAR owner career did not go so well.

Foyt ran some NASCAR cars out of his race team during his driving days in the 1970s and 1980s. Primarily, Foyt was driving his own NASCAR cars during that time, but he failed to win a race in his own equipment. Between 2000 and 2004, he attempted to run in NASCAR as a full-time team owner.

Drivers such as Ron Hornaday Jr., Rick Mast, Stacey Compton, Mike Wallace, and Larry Foyt all drove for A.J. Every Foyt driver combined for only five top-10 finishes. The only top-5 finish came with P.J. Jones at the wheel in Watkins Glen in 2002. Foyt’s NASCAR career seems it is better served talking about his driving days.

Mike Curb

Mike Curb seems like he has been involved in everything under the sun. He has been involved in the music industry, politics, and, of course, auto racing. He currently partners with Cary Agajanian to help sponsor race teams such as Andretti Autosport in IndyCar.

Curb helped sponsor two Indianapolis 500 winning cars including Alexander Rossi in 2016 and Dan Wheldon in 2011. In NASCAR, Curb is a major partner with ThorSport in the Craftsman truck Series. He’s won 16 races in that series.

His best moment as a car owner came in 1984. Richard Petty left his family-owned race team following his penalty at Charlotte in 1983, and he signed with Curb. At Daytona that July, Petty won the 200th race of his NASCAR career.

Rick Ware

Rick Ware partners with Dale Coyne to field the 51 car for Sting Ray Robb in the IndyCar Series. He’s had some big names drive for him in the series including 2-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato and former Formula One driver Romain Grosjean.

In NASCAR, Ware has failed to find his complete footing, but the team recently got their first top-10 finish of the season in the rain-shortened race at Atlanta. The recent signing of Justin Haley and alliance with RFK Racing also means that Rick Ware Racing could be trending upward. Who knows what is in store for them?

Could Michael Andretti be the next IndyCar owner to try his hand at NASCAR? If so, he has plenty of examples of success to pattern himself after.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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