A.J. Foyt Racing recently announced that rookie driver Benjamin Pedersen would drive their No. 88 car for the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series season. However, after getting feedback regarding what that number means to white supremacists, they’ve announced a change.

“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,” read a tweet from the racing team.  “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.”

88 is a white supremacist numerical code for showing support to Adolph Hitler, leader of the Nazis.

“We were made aware of it on social media,” an A.J. Foyt Racing team spokesperson told Autoweek on Friday. “It was in reaction to the announcement (of Pedersen’s car number). With the announcement of the 88 car, there were several comments so that sent us looking (and which led to the eventual change of car numbers).”

The number 88 has a long history in American racing. In fact, it’s the seventh-most used car number in NASCAR history, having been used by Dale Jarrett, Darrell Waltrip, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., to name a few. The number had been out of rotation in IndyCar since 2020 when Colton Herta switched away from it to No. 26.

AJ Foyt Racing will continue to use the No. 14 for one of their cars despite it being numerical shorthand for the white supremacist slogan known as the “14 Words” as it was the number that Foyt himself drove during his historic career.

[AJ Foyt Racing, Autoweek]

The post A.J. Foyt Racing changes car number over white supremacy concerns appeared first on The Comeback: Today’s Top Sports Stories & Reactions.

2023-01-28T19:13:54Z dg43tfdfdgfd