Ganassi team cuts Xfinity program amid sponsor's issues

Image by Russell LaBounty/LAT

Ganassi team cuts Xfinity program amid sponsor's issues

NASCAR

Ganassi team cuts Xfinity program amid sponsor's issues

Chip Ganassi Racing has announced it is shutting down its Xfinity Series program “due to a lack of sponsorship funding.”

Ross Chastain was set for a full season in the No. 42 Chevrolet with sponsorship from DC Solar. DC Solar has been a partner of CGR since 2015.

“This was a difficult decision for me to make and it comes with much anguish as this is a championship-caliber team, having won six races and finished second in the owners’ championship, and more importantly because it affects a number of good people’s livelihoods,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a statement issued Friday. “Running a car without proper funding is difficult to do.”

Last month, both the Mercury News and Martinez Gazette (of California) reported the FBI had raided the home and business of DC Solar CEO Jeff Carpoff. Witnesses said vehicles and other items were seized.

In a statement to the Gazette following that event, Armando Gomez, the Carpoffs’ lawyer said, “The Carpoff family was surprised and disappointed with the actions taken by the government earlier this week, which appear to relate to an ongoing tax dispute. They are long-time residents and supporters of the Martinez community who believe in our country and all that it stands for. The Carpoffs are grateful for the support of their friends and family, and have trust in the system to resolve this matter in a fair and just manner at the earliest opportunity so that they can continue to grow their business, which brings clean, reliable, renewable power to first responders and others whenever and wherever needed. Until that time, they will have no further comment on this matter.”

Per the Phoenix New Times, there have been multiple tax liens, and releases from California and the IRS filed against the Carpoffs. California filed a lien of $3.4 million in March 2016, which was released in July.

“More recently, on November 6, the IRS released a lien of $2,441,500 that it filed on August 3 against the Carpoffs,” the Phoenix New Times reported. “The state of California also filed a lien against the Carpoffs in August, for about $1 million. As of this writing, that lien had not been released.”

The Carpoffs also own an independent league baseball team in California.

CGR says the Monster Energy Cup Series programs of Kyle Larson and Kurt Busch will not be affected. DC Solar was a primary sponsor on Larson’s car for 13 races last season and in three for Jamie McMurray, who had driven the No. 1 car.

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