INDIANAPOLIS – The rumors that Chip Ganassi Racing would be scaling back for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series turns out to indeed be true. The team announced on Wednesday afternoon that they will field a car for Scott Dixon and a “driver yet to be determined” for the No. 10 Honda in 2018. That means that both Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton won’t be retained to go along with Tony Kanaan.
“Chip Ganassi Racing has experienced much success so far in 2017,” a statement from the team read. “In the just concluded INDYCAR season, Scott Dixon and the No. 9 team competed for a championship and ultimately finished third in the standings. Both CGR NASCAR Cup teams are in the plyaoffs as well as the No. 48 XFINITY team. Both of our Ford GT programs in IMSA and WEC are also competing for championships. Despite the success we are experiencing, we have decided to return our INDYCAR program back to two cars beginning with the 2018 season.”
It was time to do so anyways. CGR has always been at their best as a two-car program. It wasn’t until 2011 that the team expanded to a four-car effort as it always was seemed as the two “Target cars” and the “other two Ganassi cars.”
But, with Target scaling back from funding two cars, to one, to none, then walking away from the NASCAR side, it was time for Ganassi to get back to where he needed to be in order to stay competitive.
“We will be returning to a two car team beginning in 2018 with Scott Dixon in the No. 9 and a yet to be determined second driver in the No. 10,” Ganassi said. “This decision was based on the fact that we felt we needed to get back to our core business of running TWO championship caliber teams. It was a tough decision to make as it affects a lot of people. With news like this comes contraction and as such we had to let a number of good people go. The decision was not taken lightly but we felt it was best for our business. It is one of the toughest things you experience as a business owner – especially because I am all too aware that it is the people that make any company tick. We will be back in 2018 and ready to compete for our 12th INDYCAR championship.”