Longtime race car owner Chip Ganassi issued a public apology after he ran over and killed a driver’s puppy shortly before the start of the Rolex 24 at Daytona over the weekend.
In a social media post Tuesday, Ganassi called the incident, in which he ran over the golden retriever puppy of Devlin DeFrancesco in the motor home lot at Daytona International Speedway, “so unfortunate.” Ganassi apologized to the DeFrancesco family for the death of the dog named Lucky and said he would make a donation to the Indianapolis Humane Society.
The accident the other night with Devlin DeFrancesco’s dog was so unfortunate. I not only feel terrible about it I also feel terrible for Devlin, Katie and the DeFrancesco kids. On behalf of their dog Lucky and the DeFrancesco family I am making a generous donation to the…
— Chip Ganassi (@GanassiChip) January 30, 2024
“Nothing will be able to bring Lucky back or make the pain go away but I would also like to say thank you to Chip for his donation to the Humane Society of Indianapolis,” DeFrancesco wrote.
Ganassi told the AP that he had stopped his car after hitting the dog and spoke with multiple police officers about what happened.
Following the incident, DeFrancesco would drive in the No. 78 Forte Racing car that finished 16th in the GTD class. DeFrancesco, who raced in the IndyCar Series in 2022 and 2023, was part of the winning LMP2 DragonSpeed entry at the 2022 Daytona event.
DeFrancesco had posted about Lucky on social media Saturday night, writing that the dog will “always have a special place in my Heart.”
Rest in peace Lucky you’ll always have a special place in my
Heart ❤️ pic.twitter.com/YHPAwmNCaH
— Devlin Defrancesco (@DevlinDeFran) January 27, 2024
Ganassi’s entry in the top GTP class was eliminated from contention due to an engine failure during the overnight stints.