Chip Ganassi Racing has announced that they have re-signed current Verizon IndyCar Series championship leader Scott Dixon on a multi-year contract. There had been much speculation in the last few months that Dixon, a four-time IndyCar champion, would potentially leave Ganassi for 2019, but the new contract will see the New Zealander remain with the squad for the next few years.
The precise length of the deal and its terms have not been confirmed by either Dixon or Ganassi, but the new contract will ensure that one of motorsport’s greatest partnerships continue into its seventeenth year; with Dixon having first signed for CGRT back in 2002.
“I have always said I have a massive amount of respect for Chip and what he’s done in this sport,” Dixon said in a press release early this morning, “This is not an easy business. His resume speaks for itself, and he’s the type of team owner any driver would want to drive for. He gives you the tools you need to go out and get the job done, with the right group of people.
“This team has been like a family to me since way back in 2002, and I’m glad I’ll be here trying to fight for more wins, championships and Indianapolis 500s for years to come.”
Dixon graduated to the CART series back in 2001 after winning the Indy Lights championship with PacWest Racing. He remained with that squad for a year until PacWest closed down three races into the following season. After that, Chip Ganassi Racing picked up Dixon for the remainder of 2002, before the team elected to move over to the Indy Racing League – which would later become IndyCar – in 2003.
Since then, Dixon has competed in two-hundred and seventy-seven races with Chip Ganassi Racing, yielding four IndyCar championships, forty-three race victories, ninety-nine podiums and twenty-nine pole positions; a staggering set of achievements for a series where the field is so competitive.
Speaking of today’s announcement, Chip Ganassi himself spoke of how successful his partnership with Scott Dixon has been over the years and how he was certain that the success will continue in the years to come.
“I think when you mention the name Scott Dixon, the numbers and the records start to speak for themselves,” Ganassi said, “We have achieved a lot together, but there are no signs of him slowing down. He’s still the guy the championship goes through, and you know you have to beat him to get on the top step. He’s a driver that’s always thinking about the next race and how he’s going to approach it, attack it and ultimately win it.
“I’m very happy that we have the opportunity to continue this relationship and look forward to many more successful years together.”
There had been rumours over the last months that Dixon could potentially leave his familiar surroundings of Ganassi to compete with another team. Offers were rumoured to have been made Team Penske as well as Andretti Autosport as a part of a potential full-time collaboration with McLaren; who are still rumoured to be entering the season in the not too distant future with Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso.
It is not yet known if today’s announcement from Dixon and Ganassi will affect the potential entry from McLaren in any way, but more could be learned tomorrow, as Alonso has scheduled a cryptic announcement which could relate to his future in motorsport.
Dixon and Ganassi will be back in action this weekend as the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series continues with the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway; which will take place on Sunday, August 19. Scott will be hoping to increase his lead at the top of the championship standings, with just four races separating him from a fifth IndyCar crown.