Power was turned down by Ganassi

Indy 500 winner Will Power has revealed he was turned down by Chip Ganassi Racing a year before he joined Team Penske.

Power was turned down by Ganassi

Speaking on the Rusty's Garage podcast, Power explained that he met with Chip Ganassi Racing's IndyCar boss Mike Hull at the end of 2007 to discuss a drive.

However the Australian says Hull hinted that he lacked the "Chip Factor" and talks didn't progress beyond the initial meeting.

"We met at Starbucks," said Power. "I'd had a really good year in ChampCar [in 2007]. I called Mike Hull and he said 'meet me at Starbucks'.

"He talked about 'you've got to have the Chip Factor', he called it the Chip Factor in drivers. Guys like Montoya, Jimmy Vasser, Zanardi, these guys that drove for him. I had a good conversation with him but never heard back.

Read Also:

"Years later, when I was absolutely kicking arse, Mike Hull did say 'our biggest regret is not signing you'. That was 2011, I reckon, when I'd done really well for Penske."

After talks with CGR didn't progress, Power wound up staying with KV Racing for what proved to be a difficult 2008 campaign.

That left him scrambling for a drive ahead of the 2009 season, Power admitting he genuinely considered returning to Australia to replace Dick Johnson Racing-bound James Courtney at Stone Brothers Racing in Supercars.

He then signed a deal to race in the ill-fated A1GP category, only to back out of the agreement on the advice of his wife.

That left him free to sign for Team Penske as a replacement for an under-fire Helio Castroneves who was battling tax evasion charges.

"[Stone Brothers Racing] were looking for someone," explained Power. "[Team owner] Ross Stone sent me an email. If I remember correctly, I spoke to him. That was certainly an option. I think I ummed and ahhed for a long time. At that point, it was so hard for me to give up the open-wheel thing.

"I actually signed a contract with A1GP, and my wife had told me 'do not sign that contract, what if Penske or Ganassi have a ride?'. I'd had a horrible year, I was done, I had no ride. Is said 'that will never happen, you're crazy'. And I signed a contract under great stress because of the fights me and my wife had over it.

"My wife convinced me so much, I called them and said 'I want out of the contract'. I got Derrick Walker to get me out of it. Then Helio Castroneves [got] arrested, and that was the Penske seat that I would end up getting."

Power has since won 36 IndyCar races for the Penske organisation, including the 2018 Indy 500, and was crowned series champion in 2014.

shares
comments
Ericsson targets qualifying improvements, oval breakthrough

Previous article

Ericsson targets qualifying improvements, oval breakthrough

Next article

Paretta Autosport reveals sponsorship deal for de Silvestro

Paretta Autosport reveals sponsorship deal for de Silvestro
Load comments

About this article

Series Supercars , IndyCar
Drivers Will Power
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020