Reigning INDYCAR champion Alex Palou is being sued in Marion County civil court by his team owners at Chip Ganassi Racing.
According to online court records, Ganassi filed the lawsuit Monday.
In a statement provided to News 8, Chip Ganassi Racing explained the reason for the lawsuit:
“Alex Palou is under contract with Chip Ganassi Racing through the end of the 2023 season. He is a valued member of our team, and we will continue to support him in chasing wins, podiums, and INDYCAR championships. As the result of a competing racing team improperly attempting to contract with him notwithstanding the clear terms of our contract, we are proceeding to legal process pursuant to the contract.”
On July 12, Ganassi announced that it exercised its option to extend the Spanish driver through the end of the 2023 season.
Several hours later, Palou said in a tweet that Ganassi’s announcement — which included a quote from Palou saying “it was a great feeling” to know he’d be back with the team — was false and that he would be joining McLaren Racing for the 2023 season.
“I have recently learned from the media that this afternoon, without my approval, Chip Ganassi Racing issued a press release announcing that I would be driving with CGR in 2023. Even more surprising was that CGR’s release included a ‘quote’ which did not come from me,” Palou said on Twitter. “I did not approve that press release, and I did not author or approve that quote. As I have recently informed CGR, for personal reasons, I do not intend to continue with the team after 2022.”
Palou’s tweet was followed by a tweet from McLaren announcing that he would join their team next season.
There’s no hearing date set, but Ganassi has requested a court date before the end of August.
Palou is expected to compete for Ganassi at the next IndyCar series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Saturday.