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 dashing penalty dropped him out of rivalry and gave Ericsson the chance to turn 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 12 months, breaking his duck in Detroit earlier than profitable 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 inside the group – together with driver advisor Franchitti.
“He is taken it upon himself to know the useful resource within the group and perceive learn how to use that,” mentioned Ganassi.
“You simply noticed his profession begin to take off originally of final season, as soon as he understood what we have been all about.
“That is the fruits of that effort.”
Ganassi defined that the components which first attracted him to signing Ericsson have been “no baggage, likes to go quick, simply must get him a very good automotive principally”.
Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Picture by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images
“As soon as he put his thoughts to that, the wins began to return, the consistency, the factors began to return,” mentioned Ganassi of Ericsson, who improved from 17th in his rookie 12 months to 12th in 2020 and sixth within the standings final 12 months.
“The sort of expertise [practice at the Indy 500] the place you are on the market testing so much, working towards so much, actually fits his type.
“I feel Mike O’Gara [strategist] mentioned to me earlier that after the final pitstop, he did not elevate as soon as, simply held his foot to the ground and steered, [they] did not need to make any modifications to the automotive all day. They simply put tyres on it. Tyres and gasoline.
“You all the time 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 robust 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 replicate 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, what I imply? That is what’s so good for me to need to cope with.
“You noticed at present we had totally different occasions of the race totally different automobiles within the lead. We got here right here originally of the month desirous to win the race. That is, the truth is, what we did.
“No person’s happier than all the opposite drivers for the group profitable.”
Group managing director Mike Hull echoed Ganassi in pointing to Ericsson’s group angle.
“What occurs at Chip Ganassi Racing is useful resource,” he mentioned. “Useful resource is all of the those who work collectively.
“Chip mentioned it greatest a minute in the past. Should you have a look at all of the drivers now we have, and have had over time, all of them have two or three issues in widespread: no baggage is one factor, however the want to win, be a team-mate and be unselfish. That is Marcus Ericsson.
“Now with the useful resource now we have, he is very comfy inside that useful resource.
“That is actually the massive distinction, that is what we have seen.”