Ericsson held off Pato O’Ward to attain his maiden Indy 500 win, solely his third in IndyCar competitors after arriving from F1 in 2019, and the fifth for Ganassi’s storied group since 2000.
Polesitter and 2008 Indy victor Scott Dixon had led for 95 laps however a pitlane rushing penalty dropped him out of competition and gave Ericsson the chance to change into solely the second Swedish driver after Kenny Brack in 1999 to triumph at Indy.
Ericsson joined Ganassi’s group in 2020 from Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsport and have become a race-winner final yr, breaking his duck in Detroit earlier than successful a chaotic race at Nashville.
Talking after the race at Indy, the place Ericsson gave the group its first 500 win since Dario Franchitti in 2012, Ganassi mentioned that Ericsson had flourished after utilising the deep experience throughout the group – together with driver advisor Franchitti.
“He is taken it upon himself to know the useful resource within the group and perceive how one can use that,” mentioned Ganassi.
“You simply noticed his profession begin to take off at first of final season, as soon as he understood what we have been all about.
“That is the end result of that effort.”
Ganassi defined that the elements which first attracted him to signing Ericsson have been “no baggage, likes to go quick, simply have to get him a superb automotive mainly”.
Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Photograph by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
“As soon as he put his thoughts to that, the wins began to come back, the consistency, the factors began to come back,” mentioned Ganassi of Ericsson, who improved from 17th in his rookie yr to 12th in 2020 and sixth within the standings final yr.
“Any such expertise [practice at the Indy 500] the place you are on the market testing loads, working towards loads, actually fits his fashion.
“I believe Mike O’Gara [strategist] mentioned to me earlier that after the final pitstop, he did not raise as soon as, simply held his foot to the ground and steered, [they] did not should make any adjustments to the automotive all day. They simply put tyres on it. Tyres and gasoline.
“You at all times hear that concerning the automobiles that win the Indianapolis 500. It is a clear day, they do not contact the automotive. Positive sufficient, they win.”
Ganassi additionally hailed the significance of teamwork between his 5 drivers in constructing a powerful group for the 500.
Together with Dixon and Ericsson, reigning collection champion Alex Palou led 47 laps, Tony Kanaan completed third and led six laps, whereas rookie Jimmie Johnson additionally led a few laps earlier than his late crash.
“I simply mirror on the previous few weeks and the previous few months of getting these 4 or 5 guys round, working as one group, everyone cheering their team-mates on on a regular basis,” mentioned Ganassi.
“When somebody on the group does one thing good, the opposite guys could not be happier, you realize what I imply? That is what’s so good for me to should take care of.
“You noticed in the present day we had completely different occasions of the race completely different automobiles within the lead. We got here right here at first of the month desirous to win the race. That is, in truth, what we did.
“No one’s happier than all the opposite drivers for the group successful.”
Workforce managing director Mike Hull echoed Ganassi in pointing to Ericsson’s group perspective.
“What occurs at Chip Ganassi Racing is useful resource,” he mentioned. “Useful resource is all of the people who work collectively.
“Chip mentioned it finest a minute in the past. For those who take a look at all of the drivers we’ve, and have had through the years, all of them have two or three issues in frequent: no baggage is one factor, however the need to win, be a team-mate and be unselfish. That is Marcus Ericsson.
“Now with the useful resource we’ve, he is very snug inside that useful resource.
“That is actually the massive distinction, that is what we have seen.”