Numerology: 1 or 9 for Dixon?

4 Comments

Now that Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Autosport brought it back for IndyCar in 2013 – albeit with mixed success – the decision as to whether to use the No. 1 in 2014 falls to 2013 champion Scott Dixon and Target Chip Ganassi Racing.

The team has put the option out on its Facebook page as to whether Dixon should run the 1 or stay with his traditional No. 9. Thus far, the number of “likes” for the 1 far exceeds the number of “shares” to keep the 9.

If tradition’s your bend, the series champion should wear the 1, because of the honor and ambassadorial role you play for the series. If maintaining the same number for marketing and branding purposes takes precedence, then Dixon should keep the 9.

Dixon’s one previous season with the 1 was one of his most challenging. In 2004, he went winless, and his second-place finish at Phoenix was one of only two top-five finishes that year. He finished 10th in the championship.

MRTI: pre-season testing Day 2 notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Leave a comment

Day 2 of testing for the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires saw two series hit the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course for pre-season testing. The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda both got their turns on Saturday after the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires took to the 1.5-mile oval on Friday.

Both series got in two sessions apiece during the day. Below are quick reports for Pro Mazda and USF2000.

Pro Mazda: Thompson, Askew Lead Opening Sessions

A pair of USF2000 graduates led the two sessions for Pro Mazda. In Session 1, it was Parker Thompson and Exclusive Autosport leading the way, while Cape Motorsports’ Oliver Askew, last year’s USF2000 champion, led the way in Session 2. Times from both sessions are below.

Juncos Racing’s Rinus VeeKay, last year’s runnerup in the USF2000 championship, also put in a strong showing, ending up second in Session 2.

This was also the first official session for the brand new Tatuus PM-18, and it’s first official outing showed off quite a bit of speed. Lap times were reportedly upwards of four seconds a lap faster than the previous Elan Pro Mazda chassis.

USF2000: Pabst Racing, Cape Motosports Lead the Way

The teams that battled for last year’s USF2000 crown, Cape Motorsports and Pabst Racing, traded early blows during Saturday testing, with each team leading a session.

Pabst Racing’s Rasmus Lindh led the way in Session 1, with four Pabst cars in the top five, while Kyle Kirkwood led Session 2 for Cape. Times from both sessions are below.

However, it should be noted that DEForce Racing’s Kory Enders spent most of Session 2 at the top of the speed charts before getting pushed down to third late in the running. With the top three finishers from last year’s USF2000 championship all moving on to Pro Mazda (Askew, VeeKay, and Thompson), this USF2000 season could be anyone’s for the taking.

Of note, Keith Donegan, who signed with ArmsUp Motorsports after winning the $200K scholarship from Mazda Motorsports in November’s Mazda Road to Indy Shootout, was 16th in Session 1, but did not turn laps in Session 2.

Follow@KyleMLavigne