IndyCar: Ganassi announcement adds under-the-radar confirmation

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing, IndyCar (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

For the first time, Chip Ganassi Racing have formally confirmed Alex Palou as a part of their driver lineup for the 2024 IndyCar season.

When asked about whether or not Alex Palou would be back with Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2024 IndyCar season following his championship-clinching victory at Portland International Raceway, Chip Ganassi gave a clear answer that yes, he would be.

What he wasn’t asked, however, is if he had in writing, and even then, who knows what kind of invisible ink may or may have been used to put pen to paper.

All jokes aside, Palou has been involved in some sort of contract drama for the last two seasons, making his 2023 championship run, which featured five wins and no finishes lower than eighth place, even more impressive.

Last summer, he tried to leave Chip Ganassi Racing to join McLaren for 2023, but the former effectively blocked the move by going to court.

The assumption was that Palou, now with the ability to leave the team on his own free will post-2023, would opt to leave Chip Ganassi Racing for McLaren when he was legally able to, but he recently decided against the move.

With McLaren CEO Zak Brown claiming that his decision goes against a binding contract he signed — even though he technically wasn’t allowed to negotiate with other teams until September — they too began the process of suing the two-time champion.

However, McLaren’s legal proceedings are not believed to be for anything more than financial compensation, with the team having given up on the idea of putting Palou in one of their cars next year. They have already signed David Malukas to replace the Meyer Shank Racing-bound Felix Rosenqvist.

And now it’s safe to say that an Alex Palou return to Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2024 IndyCar season is official.

While the 26-year-old Spaniard’s new contract will likely get an official announcement of its own, Chip Ganassi Racing solidified their driver lineup for 2024 by signing development driver Kyffin Simpson.

In the release, the team listed Palou as a part of their five-car lineup.

"“Simpson will round out the Chip Ganassi Racing lineup for the 2024 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, joining six-time champion Scott Dixon, two-time champion Alex Palou, 2023 Rookie of the Year Marcus Armstrong and 2022 INDY NXT Champion Linus Lundqvist.”"

Palou has been with the team since 2021, when Chip Ganassi Racing signed him seemingly out of nowhere following a solid but not spectacular rookie season with Dale Coyne Racing and Team Goh. Palou rewarded the team right out of the gate with a win in his first start behind the wheel of the No. 10 Honda, and he sealed the championship with a three-win season.

Next. All-time IndyCar wins list. dark

In 2023, he became the first five-win champion since 2016 and the first driver to finish a 17-race season without any finishes of ninth place or worse since 1922 (!). He has now racked up nine wins and two titles in three seasons with the team. Even his lone victory in his non-title-winning 2022 season came by a historic margin.