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.
Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. with a speed of 122.953 mph.
Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.
Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.
The practice was interrupted several times for incidents.
Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.
With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.
“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”
With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.
Dixon also had an off-road excursion.