VERIZON INDYCAR SERIES
that ability and results are no guarantees of
moving up. After winning the ’ 98 Atlantic
crown, Bentham was invited by Player’s,
along with fellow Canucks Alex Tagliani and
Empringham, to a shootout at Sebring,
Fla., to be Carpentier’s CART teammate.
“I was the fastest in the test and I’d won
the Atlantics title, so I figured I’d cinched it,
but then they told me they weren’t going
to hire me,” says Bentham, who lost out
to Tagliani because Player’s needed a
French-Canadian, as the story goes. “I felt
like I’d done everything I was asked, but I
guess I was a little naïve. It was a very,
Still, the cool thing for this little
fraternity within IndyCar is that they all
have an appreciation and understanding
about what it’s like behind the wheel.
“I was a decent driver, won some races
and it taught me a lot about the business
I’ve been in for five decades,” says Hull.
“I never thought I was a badass, but I’m
happy I sacrificed to make it happen and
to know what it’s like,” says Julian.
“I really loved testing that Indy car and
one of my goals was to win the Indy 500,
so I decided if I couldn’t do it as a driver
then I’d have to become a mechanic on
an Indy car,” says Davidson.
“I think if I could have found my way into
the IRL I’d have done OK, but I still followed
my dream, it’s just that Indy wasn’t part
of it,” says Simmons, whose brother Jeff
competed in the IRL for four seasons.
“What could have been is always going
to be in the back of my mind, because
I’m a racer,” shrugs Bentham, who’ll be
spotting for J.R. Hildebrand in 2017.
“I’m so thankful that my Dad and
brother helped me and I’m so glad I got
to do it, because it led me to where I am
now,” says Davis.
Jones, whose limp is a reminder of his
driving days, thinks it’s a privilege this
group is all making a good living in IndyCar,
but wants to set the record straight.
“I got to see Chris Simmons up close
and there’s no question he was a talent.
I watched Bentham and he was very
good, but just didn’t make it because of
circumstances. And I only found out last
year that Derek was a bloody badass,
because he never talked about it.
“I’d planned to be Formula 1 champ by
the time I was 25, and obviously it didn’t
work out,” he smiles. “But I’m content that
I could have competed at a high level. I
guess that’s racing. What’s that saying?
Many are called, but few are chosen.”
“What could have been is
always going to be in the
back of my mind, because
I’m a racer”
(LEFT) Behind every
great racecar driver
is a great crew. Chip
celebrates his 2016
Watkins Glen win as
(far right of picture)
former racers Mike
Hull and Chris
a job well done.
Lead engineer for No. 9, Scott Dixon
CHIP GANASSI RACING
On track... FF2000, Indy Lights