IndyCar team Foyt has changed the number that one of its cars will use this year due to “ideologic and symbolic references”.
The team announced last week its driver Benjamin Pedersen had chosen to use the number 88 for his rookie campaign in the series this year. However Foyt advised media today it will replace the number due to the connotations around it.
“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 the team in a 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.”
While the team has not specified the nature of its concerns, they are likely to relate to the number’s associations within American neo-Nazi movements, particularly when combined with the number 14. The team has long used that number, which its founder AJ Foyt had on his car when he scored the last two of his four Indianapolis 500 wins, in 1967 and 1977.
The Foyt team originally made light of Pedersen’s choice of number, announcing: “AJ Foyt will be reminded of just how old he is every time Benjamin Pedersen takes to the track this year as the racing legend turned 88 which is the number the Danish-American driver chose to run in his rookie campaign.”
Foyt confirmed Pedersen will now use number 55 instead. His team mate Santino Ferrucci was previously entered in their number 14 car.
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