Amid speculation regarding his future at Chip Ganassi Racing, the team’s managing director says there are no plans for him to retire or to be replaced.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Mike Hull told RACER. “I work for Chip Ganassi Racing. I’ve worked for Chip for over 30 years and it’s been a great relationship and that hasn’t changed.”
The clarification comes after reports suggesting Hull was preparing to make way for his stepson, former Arrow McLaren SP president Taylor Kiel, circulated on Thursday.
“I appreciate Chip, and what I appreciate the most is that he answers to us like we answer to him,” Hull continued. “He has a very clear direction, which creates a directive for all of us, and we know where we’re going together. There’s no hidden or veiled agenda. It’s all about what he says, ‘I like winners,’ and he just wants to win races. And so we always tweak and adjust what we do to remain competitive. It’s been that way since I got here.
“The key ingredient is he understands what it takes in the cockpit by being a driver first, and as an owner, that helps us make decisions that surround those drivers. His direct approach is hands-on; he shares in in the ups and downs of what we’ve accomplished. I’ve enjoyed it and I’ll continue to enjoy it.”
Hull also said there are no plans to restructure CGR’s managerial or organizational structure.
“There’s nothing changing there,” he added. “I think we have terrific people that contribute to what we do together, and if you study our history, we’ll continue to evolve the way that we manage the process. So maybe some people are assuming that we’re going to do that immediately, or we’re going to do that again, or whatever we’re going to do next. I don’t know.
“But our management system is pretty flat, frankly. It might appear to be pyramid, but it’s not. The experience that we have throughout the system, which includes managers, all weighs in on the decisions that we make, and they participate equally. We’re really fortunate that we have a broad base. And what a broad base does is it gives everybody that works for us an opportunity to grow. So the opportunities to move upward aren’t necessarily limited, but they require patience.”
Within CGR’s IndyCar program, two recent examples of promoting from within are found with championship-winning race engineer Chris Simmons, who was installed in the new performance director role in 2020, and title-winning crew chief Blair Julian, who was elevated to shop manager and race strategist in 2022. Both held their previous roles for quite some time with CGR prior to their upward moves.
“I think the problem for most very competitive people is they’re very impatient,” Hull said. “If they don’t see opportunity at Chip Ganassi Racing as quickly as they want, they’re gonna go somewhere else. Well, they can climb internally at Chip Ganassi Racing because we have a lot of projects, we have a lot of racing — we continue to add to those projects.
“There’s room for growth and that’s really what competitive people are looking for. They’re looking for growth, they’re looking for individual growth and wanting to be part of a system that provides them that. And that’s what we have.”