With his primary driver locked into place for 2019, Chip Ganassi says the next step is to solidify the seat alongside Scott Dixon.
The team downsized from four cars to two during the offseason and signed 2016 Indy Lights champion Ed Jones, who impressed as a rookie with Dale Coyne Racing, to partner with Dixon this year. Flashes of promise with podiums at Long Beach and the second Detroit race have gone according to expectations for the Dubai-born Briton, but with more than half his finishes outside the top 10, Jones sits 13th in the championship while Dixon leads the point standings as the season winds down.
“We’re in that time of the year where we’re formulating those choices, and whether it’s in IndyCar or NASCAR, our team’s mindset was taking care of the No. 1 guy [Dixon] before we move down the road and get other deals worked out,” Ganassi told RACER.
Dixon finds himself atop the championship while yearning for a wingman to take points off of his closest rivals. With four races left to run, a strong and supporting close by Jones could factor into whether his place in the team is secured, or Ganassi searches for a different partner to pair with his team leader in 2019.
Like the Kiwi’s free-agent exploration with Andretti Autosport and McLaren Racing, Ganassi says it’s only natural for CGR to investigate its options on the driver market.
“As Scott said, I think it’s important for our drivers to go through the process, when it’s contract time, to see what’s out there and stay current in the process,” he said. “I would say that even from the team’s point of view, it’s incumbent upon a championship-caliber team to do the same. So we’re always looking at it, and when it’s time, we’ll make the best decision, but I have no idea [who it will be] right now.”