Chip Ganassi Racing is expanding to five cars for next year's IndyCar season to accommodate 18-year-old development driver Kyffin Simpson.
The expansion for Simpson will give Ganassi three rookies in next year's Indianapolis 500. Marcus Armstrong already won IndyCar rookie of the year this season, but is adding ovals to his schedule next year and will be an Indy 500 rookie. Same for Linus Lundqvist, who ran a street course, a road course and an oval as a replacement driver this season.
Ganassi sat with a group of reporters a week ago at Laguna Seca to discuss his team's future ahead of Alex Palou and Scott Dixon's 1-2 finish in the championship standings. He was evasive on Simpson, a Cayman Islands native who is the son of businessman David Simpson, whose Ridgeline Lubricants company has sponsored many Ganassi cars since mid-2022.
“We just throw darts. We don’t really play much,” Ganassi joked when asked what the future might look like for the Cayman Islands-native. “I don’t know what it is yet. I would like to share it with somebody, but I don’t know what the hell it is.”
He does now.
Simpson will be the youngest driver on the IndyCar grid next season. The 2024 Ganassi lineup will be the first with five drivers since Michael Andretti ran five cars in 2020.
He got to the IndyCar level through his father's financial backing, which has allowed Kyffin Simpson to enter a slew of different racing series for valuable seat time. He was part of the winning LMP2 sports car at the Twelve Hours of Sebring earlier this year.
“It’s been incredible working with Chip Ganassi Racing as their development driver over the last couple years, and I’ve been able to learn so much. I am very excited to be making the next step to IndyCar with this team,” Simpson said.
Simpson won the 2021 Formula Regional Americas title with seven wins in 18 races. He was a rookie in the Indy NXT series last year and finished ninth in points. He was 10th in this year's standings with two podiums.
Simpson presently races in the European Le Mans Series, where Algarve Pro Racing is first in the LMP2 standings halfway through the six-race schedule.