Honda F1 website

JUNE 13, 2006

An alternative to F1 for Wheldon

There are reports in the United States that Indy Racing League star Dan Wheldon might give up on his dreams of becoming a Formula 1 driver in the future and drive for Chip Ganassi in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series in 2007. Ganassi has an opening following the announcement that Casey Mears is on the market and that the Texaco Havoline car is available. Ganassi currently runs three Dodge Chargers in the Nextel Cup with Mears (Texaco Havoline) partnered by rookies David Stremme (Coors Light) and Reed Sorenson (Target). The team also runs a Busch Series programme with Sorenson driving a Discount Tire-sponsored Dodge. Ganassi also has Kevin Hamlin, another rising star, as a development driver. Ganassi wanted to run four cars this year to compete with the bigger operations such as Roush Racing and Hendrick Motorsport and a deal was announced last year for a deal with the Home123 mortgage company. That deal did not come to fruition but the ambition remains and with Mears moving elsewhere there could be two cars available next year: one for Hamlin and one for Wheldon.

This would have the intresting side-effect of providing a place for Juan Pablo Montoya to return to the United States, if that is what the Colombian decides to do. Montoya and Ganassi enjoyed much success together in 1999 and 2000 before Juan Pablo embarked on his F1 career.