Chip Ganassi has an idea of what his four-car NTT IndyCar Series team will look like next season.
With Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson, reigning series champion Alex Palou, and six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon all signed through 2023 at a minimum, the only question mark is seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who is completing the original two-year deal he signed with CGR.
Although Johnson has not announced his plans for next season, Ganassi says consistency is where the Honda-powered team is headed.
“We’re gonna be status quo,” Ganassi told RACER. “Most of our changes are not going to be visible to the eye and our team is pretty much gonna look like it looks now.”
Half of Ganassi’s driver roster has been routinely mentioned in silly season conversations over the last month as Palou and Dixon are known to be coveted by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown.
For the Spaniard, who is under a multi-year contract with CGR, interest was shown in acquiring his services – if he were available – to join Pato O’Ward and the inbound Alexander Rossi from Andretti Autosport and add to the growing list of drivers on McLaren F1’s testing rotation.
Another outreach, with a highly incentivized offer to drive and remain with the team in a leadership role after retirement, is known to have been made to Dixon, who is signed through 2023.
“My guys are under contract,” Ganassi said. “I asked them if everything’s okay and they said, ‘Yeah, everything’s OK.’ I’m not sure what else to say.”
Although he wouldn’t be drawn on McLaren’s repeated advances that started by pursuing Dixon for the first time in 2018, signing away CGR race winner and free agent Felix Rosenqvist late in 2020, or the most recent approaches to Palou and Dixon, Ganassi did offer a bit of wisdom gained over four decades of helming teams bearing his name.
“I can tell you this,” he added. “I learned a long time ago in this business that you can’t build your team by taking people from other teams. You can’t build a team that way. You’ve gotta develop your own drivers, your own people.”