It’s no secret that British IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon is keen to make a move to another extremely popular American racing series – but the time just isn’t right, according to his team boss.
After a highly successful career in IndyCar, that has included a record six victories in one season and a high-profile switch from the Andretti Green team to Chip Ganassi Racing in a bid to stay ahead of the competition, Dan has his eye on the tin-tops.
A move to NASCAR, America’s largest racing series and one that enjoys huge popularity in that country, wouldn’t even require a change of team. In fact, only one thing stands in his way – his boss, Chip Ganassi.
Ganassi Racing is already extremely well-established in NASCAR and in 2006 it made the high-profile signing of F1’s temperamental diva Juan Pablo Montoya from McLaren-Mercedes where he was (to put it tactfully) failing to thrive under the Woking regime.
In fact, Montoya is part of Wheldon’s problem. A long-term contract with this star driver means NASCAR seats are limited.
With the possibility of re-signing existing drivers Reed Sorensen and David Stremme – well, there’s a lot of talent about, and a bit of a queue to put it into action.
Which means Mr Ganassi thinks Dan ought to stay in IndyCar for 2008.
“It’s not a difference of opinion, it’s just a difference of timing,” Wheldon says of his boss. “He doesn’t really say why, but he thinks I should stay in IndyCar racing.”
Which is good news for series fans – but it remains to be seen whether Wheldon will hang about for another year.