Ganassi, Rahal, Buckler, Riley Up For Award

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Chip Ganassi, right, is one of four up for the Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence. (Shawn Gritzmacher/IndyCar photo)
Chip Ganassi, right, is one of four up for the Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence. (Shawn Gritzmacher/IndyCar photo)
Chip Ganassi, right, is one of four up for the Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence. (Shawn Gritzmacher/IndyCar photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Four sports car team owners – Kevin Buckler, Chip Ganassi, Bobby Rahal and Bill Riley – have been named as candidates for the 2015 Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence, presented by Gorsline Company.

The recipient will be chosen by a panel of motor sports professionals and announced on Jan. 29,, during the Grand Marshal dinner at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The honoree will be presented with a specially engraved Rolex Stainless Steel and Platinum Yacht-Master timepiece.

The Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence was created to recognize the team owner or team manager who has demonstrated the qualities of integrity, passion for the sport, and love of cars for which Bob Snodgrass was known during his life and career. The award, supported by Gorsline Company, the premier insurer of high-risk professionals, has been presented previously to Bob Stallings (2010), Joe Sahlen (2011), Peter Baron (2012), John Stevenson (2013) and Alex Job (2014).

Backgrounds on candidates for the 2015 Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence follow:

Buckler, is the CEO and owner of Adobe Road Winery and TRG-AMR North America. TRG has run a multi-car effort at Daytona since 1997 and is the only team to ever run a five-car team successfully for eight straight years.

A fixture in the auto racing industry for over 30 years as a race-car driver and team owner, Ganassi is considered one of the most successful and innovative owners in the sport. He currently counts two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, four in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, two in the World Endurance Championship and two cars in Global Rally Cross.

Overall, in his 26 years of ownership, Ganassi’s teams have won 18 championships including his 11th IndyCar Championship in 2015. In addition, his team picked up its sixth overall victory in the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona.

Bill Riley is President of Riley Technologies and also serves as team director for the affiliated company, Riley Motorsports, the entrant for the No. 93 ViperExchange.com Dodge Viper GT3-R that won the 2015 Rolex 24 At Daytona in the GTD class. Riley continues to operate both companies with his father and company founder, Bob Riley, a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

Their Daytona Prototype produced Riley’s most successful string of overall Rolex 24 victories, winning the Rolex 24 overall nine straight times from 2005 through 2013 with several different teams racing various generations of the Riley Mk VI, XX and XXII chassis.

The 2015 Rolex 24 saw yet another overall Riley Daytona Prototype win by Chip Ganassi Racing.

Robert “Bobby” Woodward Rahal worked his way up through the racing ranks starting with the SCCA’s feeder series to Formula Atlantic and then onto European Formula Two. In an 18-year career spanning F1, Can-Am, Le Mans/IMSA and CART, he’s won the 1986 Indy 500, the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona and the 1987 12 Hours of Sebring. Rahal started 264 races for five teams, taking pole 18 times and scoring 24 wins before retiring from competitive racing after the 1988 season. With Buddy Rice’s win of the 2004 Indy 500, Rahal became one of a handful of individuals to win the Indy 500 as both a driver and a team owner.