By Eric C. Deines
In the merger of Ganassi Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc., the Concord race headquarters will retain its jobs, owner Chip Ganassi said.
Ganassi kept his comments brief Thursday, saying his Concord race shop will see “little or no effect” from the merger.
The combined team is called Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates and will field cars for Martin Truex, Aric Almirola, Juan Pablo Montoya and a driver yet to be named.
“There’s a consolidation going on in every industry right now,” Ganassi said. “It’s a sign of the times, I guess.”
On Thursday, calls to Ganassi’s Concord headquarters were met with a greeting that states the new company name. And the Web site listed Ganassi as owner of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.
Ganassi said he expected more details of the four-car operation to come out next week.
Concord Mayor Scott Padgett said he was confident the newly formed team would set up shop at the Ganassi headquarters, located near Concord Regional Airport.
Ganassi has plans to build a new airplane hangar at the site.
Padgett spoke with Ganassi on Thursday, offering the full support of the city.
“Mr. Ganassi was appreciative of the call,” Padgett said. “I don’t think they’re looking for anything like (tax incentives). Basically, it was acknowledging we appreciate the fact he is located here. I feel fairly positive about it.”
Padgett said he also spoke on Wednesday with a general manager at Mooresville-based DEI, who was more somber, having just informed employees of layoffs.
“I expressed my concern for that organization,” Padgett said.
Reports say DEI cut about 100 jobs with the merger.
In July, Ganassi laid off 71 people when it shuttered its No. 40 team because it was without sponsorship.
Cabarrus economic development officials said they would also extend their services.
“We don’t want to lose a single job,” said John Cox, president and CEO of Cabarrus Economic Development. “We’re attempting to reach out to both of those companies … to offer our help in any way, asking what is the situation at the corporate level. The goal would be the retention of existing local jobs.”
• Contact reporter Eric C. Deines: 704-789-9141.