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A.J. Foyt Racing reversed course and changed one of the team’s car numbers after realizing that the original selection for the car’s livery combined to form a white supremacist symbol.
In an announcement Friday, the IndyCar team revealed that instead of using the No. 88 for its second car during the 2023 season, it will instead race the No. 55. Benjamin Pedersen will drive the No. 55 this upcoming year, while Santino Ferrucci is set to drive the team’s flagship car, the No. 14.
“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,” the team said in a statement Friday. “A.J. 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.”
The number 1488 is recognized as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League. The first part of the number, 14, is considered to be short for a 14-word slogan used by white supremacists and 88 is used as code for “Heil Hitler,” as the letter H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
Pedersen, 23, is set to make his IndyCar debut in 2023 after appearing in 24 second-tier Indy Lights races over the past two seasons. Ferrucci had run in 43 IndyCar races over the past five seasons.
The 2023 IndyCar Series season gets underway March 5 in St. Petersburg, Fla.