IndyCar Driver Alex Palou Denies Chip Ganassi Racing’s Claim He’s Re-Signing With Team After 2022

by Dustin Schutte

The final lap of an IndyCar Series race can be one of the most exciting, thrilling, wild and exhausting rides in all of sports. Somehow, driver Alex Palou and Chip Ganassi Racing managed to replicate that through contract talks.

Chip Ganassi Racing announced breaking news on Tuesday, saying that it had exercised its option to extend Palou through the 2023 season. The only problem? Palou has no intention to re-sign with the team.

“Alex’s track record speaks for itself,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a statement. “He’s a proven champion and one of the most formidable drivers in the world. We are very excited to continue working together.”

In a tweet later in the day, Palou denied having any knowledge of the situation.

“I have recently learned from the media that this afternoon, without my approval, Chip Ganassi Racing issued a press release announcing that I would be driving with CGR in 2023,” Palou wrote. “As I have recently informed CGR, for personal reasons, I do not intend to continue with the team after 2022.”

Did you think the fun would stop there? Don’t worry, Outsiders, there’s more …

A Quote Pulled From Thin Air?

In an even more bizarre twist to the Alex Palou-Chip Ganassi Racing drama, it appears the team manufactured a quote from the 25-year-old driver. At least, that’s what Palou says.

In Chip Ganassi Racing’s press release, Palou was quoted as saying:

“It’s a great feeling knowing I’ll be back with Chip Ganassi Racing next season. The team welcomed me with open arms from day one, and I’m excited to continue working with Chip, Mike Hull, the folks on the No. 10 NTT DATA car and everyone within the organization. The goals remain the same and we will continue to work relentlessly towards achieving them.”

Palou says he never made the comment nor approved of its usage in Chip Ganassi Racing’s official release.

“Even more surprising was that CGR’s release included a ‘quote’ which did not come from me,” Palou wrote on Twitter. “I did not approve that press release, and I did not author or approve that quote.”

It is, without question, one of the strangest off-the-track things we’ve seen in racing.

Still Friends ‘Til the End?

Alex Palou might be frustrated with Chip Ganassi Racing’s unauthorized press release on Tuesday, but it sounds like he might be departing on good terms. To close out his series of tweets, he wished nothing but the best for his team in the future.

“This evening’s unfortunate events aside, I have great respect for the CGR team,” Palou wrote, “and look forward to finishing this season strongly together.”

With Chip Ganassi Racing, Palou has won three IndyCar Series races and has stood on the podium on 13 occasions. In 2021, he claimed the IndyCar Series championship.