Need for Speed

Born in Westmoreland County, Chip Ganassi raced go-karts at an early age and eventually competed on the open-wheel circuit before an injury derailed his professional career.

Instead of hanging up his helmet, the Duquesne University graduate harnessed his competitive spirit and determination to become one of racing’s premier team owners. His open wheel teams have amassed nine championships and 86 wins (including three in the Indianapolis 500), while his NASCAR teams have racked up 16 wins with first-place finishes in the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400.

While Ganassi has helped place Pittsburgh on the international auto racing map, Pittsburgh’s racing story doesn’t end on the asphalt.

Explore the fast-paced legacy of the region’s powerboat racing, horse racing, cycling, and track and field athletes as part of the Sports Museum’s racing section.

Exhibit Must-Sees
  • Track & Field: See items from the greatest track & field athletes in Western Pa. history, including Lauryn Williams’ University of Miami spikes and singlet from her 2004 NCAA championship 100-meter sprint and University of Pittsburgh long jumper Herb Douglas’ warm ups from the 1948 Summer Olympics.
  • Down the Stretch:  Washington County’s Delvin Miller was widely acknowledged as the premier horseman of the 20th century. Miller won 2,442 races and collected $11,010,083 in prize money in a career that began in 1929, when he played hooky from high school at age 15. See artifacts from Miller’s stellar career, including his racing silks, a Houghton Faber Sulky (harness) used from 1958-1963, and the prestigious Hambletonian trophy from 1961.
  • Jump (and Race) Around: Sports Museum interactives let kids hop aboard a pint-sized powerboat ride, create their own Olympic medal, or measure their leaping ability in the long jump.

Artifact Spotlight: Chip Ganassi’s Indy 500 Car

Chip Ganassi's Indy-500 Car

Don’t miss the Chip Ganassi-owned Indy Car from Juan Pablo Montoya’s thrilling victory at “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indianapolis 500, in 2000. Montoya won the race during his rookie season and gave Ganassi Racing its first Indy 500 win.

Photo Gallery