Chip Ganassi Racing bolstered its front office this offseason with the signing of veteran motorsports executive Doug Duchardt.
The team announced that Duchardt will become the team’s Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately, in preparation for the 2018 season. He essentially replaces Max Jones, who was transferred to the position of managing director of the team’s NASCAR operation alongside Mike Hull, CGR IndyCar team manager. Additionally, a newly formed corporate office will include team owner and CEO Chip Ganassi, president Steve Lauletta, COO Duchardt, CFO Chuck Gottschalk and vice president of human resources Rob Wilder.
The corporate office will oversee all of CGR’s racing and commercial activities globally.
Duchardt will work closely with Jones, Hull and team President Steve Lauletta to increase collaboration, performance and growth across all of CGR’s worldwide racing activities.
“We are all so pleased to get someone with both Doug’s racing credentials and his business acumen,” Ganassi said. “He has a lot of racing championships under his belt and a strong track record for running successful businesses and has the respect of the racing industry. Doug will be a great addition to help lead what I think is already a very good group of people.”
Duchardt has over 30 years of motorsports management experience and was most recently the executive vice president and general manager at Hendrick Motorsports. He spent over 12 years at HMS before leaving during the summer. Under his watch, the team won seven Cup Series championships including a run of six consecutive from 2006-11.
Prior to HMS, the 53-year-old spent over 20 years with General Motors, where he most recently managed its entire North American motorsports initiatives with relationships in NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, IMSA and SCCA.
“I am excited to become a part of Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Duchardt. “I, along with the rest of the industry, have always admired Chip and what he does across so many forms of racing. What has been especially impressive of late has been the turnaround they have made in their NASCAR operation. I am also looking forward to competing in INDYCAR and IMSA once again.
“Along with Felix Sabates and Rob Kauffman, Chip has assembled a group of championship caliber people on each of his teams that I am looking forward to working with and helping them achieve even more success both on and off the track.”
Ganassi is coming off a resurgent season in which Kyle Larson captured four victories and both teams made the chase for the championship.
By Matt Weaver