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Ganassi confirms two-time IndyCar champion Palou will “be in our car” in 2024

Fifteen-time IndyCar Series champion team owner Chip Ganassi has reaffirmed that Alex Palou is “going to be in our car” next year after he wrapped up his second title on Sunday.

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

Palou is being taken to the UK’s High Court over a contractual dispute with McLaren Racing, having performed an apparent U-turn on his previous decision to switch teams for 2024.

It was that call in 2022 that led to Ganassi taking legal action against his own driver, which was settled by mediation that allowed him to stay with his IndyCar team but test F1 cars for McLaren.

Speaking in Victory Lane, after Palou won his fifth race of the season, Ganassi – who is rarely drawn into making statements on driver contracts – told NBC: “Alex Palou is going to be in our car, I can tell you that, sure.”

Ganassi also revealed that Palou had told him before the race that he would clinch the crown with a race win, even though he was starting from fifth on the grid.

“He’s certainly special,” said Ganassi. “We noticed that in his first weekend, his first race win with us in Barber [when he won on his debut with the team in the 2021 season opener].

“He’s part of our team, we couldn’t be more happy about that. He likes to win, to be at the front.

“I said to him before the start, ‘Hey, let’s go and wrap this thing up today’ and he looked at me and he said, ‘I’m going to wrap it up with a win’. I said ‘OK, great’. He called the shot today.”

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Palou, 26, scored his ninth career IndyCar win over his three seasons in the series, and cannot be caught in the standings by his team-mate, the six-time champion Scott Dixon, who finished third at Portland.

“It was an amazing weekend overall, we had really fast cars and we just had to go for it,” said Palou. “We just raced how we’ve been doing it all season. Everything worked perfectly today.

“Super proud to be in Victory Lane and super proud of the second championship and the 15th for the team. We’re missing Barry [Wanser, his strategist and a team executive, who’s dealing with cancer] – he did an amazing job.

“I never thought I’d be an IndyCar champion and to be two-time IndyCar champion just feels amazing, like a dream. I can’t think our guys and girls enough, they gave me all the tools I needed to win.

“We’ll just keep rolling.”

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