IndyCar: Alex Palou to drive for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Alex Palou is set to move to Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2021 IndyCar season following his rookie seaason with Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh.

Following his rookie IndyCar season in 2020 during which he competed for Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh behind the wheel of the #55 Honda, Alex Palou is set to move to Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2021 season.

This announcement comes following the confirmation that Felix Rosenqvist is set to leave Chip Ganassi Racing after two seasons and replace Oliver Askew behind the wheel of the #7 Chevrolet at Arrow McLaren SP alongside Pato O’Ward.

Palou is set to replace Rosenqvist behind the wheel of the #10 Honda, giving Chip Ganassi Racing three full-time drivers for next season.

Six-time champion Scott Dixon is set to return behind the wheel of the #9 Honda, and Marcus Ericsson signed a multi-year extension to continue driving the #8 Honda on Wednesday.

The team are set to run a fourth car, the #48 Honda, on a full-time basis as well, with seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson behind the wheel in the 13 road and street course races and another TBD driver behind the wheel in the four oval races.

Here is what Palou had to say about the opportunity to join Chip Ganassi Racing in a team release.

"To say I’m thrilled or excited to be making this step in my career would be an understatement. Driving for Chip Ganassi is just a dream come true. I’ve followed the team for as long as I can remember, and it’s the kind of team and owner any driver would want to race for. Scott has had another tremendous season, reaching 50 wins and a sixth title, so you absolutely couldn’t ask for anything more in a teammate. I can’t wait to work with Marcus and Jimmie as well, and to start contributing to the team and getting to spend more time with everyone.”"

Here is what Chip Ganassi Racing managing director had to add.

"“I love to watch the growth of young drivers. This year racing Indy cars has been very difficult for young drivers like Alex who hadn’t had the opportunity to visually see the tracks in advance, nor have days of practice in private team testing, or open testing or three-day weekends. Putting that into perspective, he did a heck of a job. We had an opening, and he became available, and Chip has a great eye for talent. Alex has that spark, that intangible thing you combine with talent that is a lot of fun. It’s a great exploration thing, actually. You’re exploring how far you can go, and he has one year of experience with a quality team, quality engineering and a quality teammate. He stood up to that test extremely well.”"

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In his rookie season, Palou finished in 16th place in the championship standings with three top 10 finishes, including a career-high third place finish in just his third career start at Road America.

The 23-year-old Spaniard led his first lap in the season finale on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, where he ultimately finished in 13th place. He finished the season with an average finish of 14.7. He was running at the finish in 11 of the 14 races on the schedule, and in those 11 races, his average finish was 12.0.

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The streets of St. Petersburg, Florida are scheduled to host the 2021 IndyCar season opener on Sunday, March 7.