Chip Ganassi Racing to downsize to 2 cars in IndyCar in 2018

FORT WORTH, TX - JUNE 10: Scott Dixon of New Zealand, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, practices for the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 10, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

INDIANAPOLIS — Chip Ganassi Racing will return to a two-car team in the IndyCar Series next season in a business decision the team owner said led to layoffs.

“With news like this comes contraction and as such we had to let a number of good people go,” Ganassi said Wednesday. “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.”

Ganassi has fielded four teams in IndyCar the last several years.

Only Scott Dixon will return to the program next season, in the No. 9. Ganassi said the driver of the No. 10 will be announced later. It is widely believed that New Zealand’s Brendon Hartley will take over that seat.

Tony Kanaan is expected to move to A.J. Foyt Racing, and it is not clear what Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton will do next season.

“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,” Ganassi said.

Only Dixon was in contention for the title this season. He went into Sunday’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway just three points out of the championship lead, but slipped to third in the final standings.

Josef Newgarden gave Ganassi rival Roger Penske a second consecutive IndyCar championship on Sunday. Penske had all four of its drivers in contention for the title, and its drivers won 10 of the 17 IndyCar races this season.

Only Dixon won for Ganassi this season.

The team is recovering from the loss of longtime sponsor Target, which is also leaving NASCAR at the end of this season. There was also an adjustment from Chevrolet to Honda, and Chevrolet teams — and Penske — dominated the season.

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More AP Auto Racing: http://racing.ap.org/

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