IndyCar team change car’s number for unusual reason

Benjamin Pedersen had favoured the number 88 for his debut season in IndyCar.

Drivers in the majority of motorsport series have the privilege of picking their own driver number, allowing them to add some sentimental value to their cars.

Lewis Hamilton for example chooses to run the number 44 on his car, in reference to his first ever karting number which he picked because of the number plate of his father’s car at the time.

Mick Schumacher’s 47 is supposed to read ‘for seven,’ meaning that he is racing for his father, who raced with the number seven for a large part of his career.

Drivers in IndyCar are also allowed to choose their own numbers and after Benjamin Pederson signed for Foyt ahead of the 2023 season, the Danish driver decided to pick the number 88.

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Now, only weeks after he chose this number for his rookie campaign, Foyt have issued a statement saying that Pederson will change his number to 55 due to the possible symbolic references of his previous choice.

“After the reveal of the no.88 livery last week, it was brought to our attention that the combination of our two individually entered numbers carries certain ideologic and symbolic references,” said Foyt in a recent statement.

“AJ Foyt Racing does not condone nor support any such ideologies or symbols and to avoid any reprehensible associations we have changed the entry number from 88 to 55.”

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While Foyt have not named the specific ideologies and symbols that they are referring to, they are most likely concerned about the combination of the number 88 and 14, the two car numbers that were originally entered.

The combination has associations to the American neo-Nazi movement and with Pedersen’s teammate Santino Ferrucci using the number 14, as is Foyt tradition, the Dane has been forced to change to avoid these unwanted links.

It is believed that Pedersen and the team were completely unaware of the connotations that come with their number selection instead choosing the number 88 to mock their founder AJ Foyt, who recently turned 88.