Could this week mark TBA’s elusive debut in Coyne’s second car?

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Sam Hornish Jr. was identified with a black silhouette after his last-minute appointment in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 11 FedEx Toyota in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway.

But the real mystery driver of racing, circa 2014, is the driver of Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 18 Honda in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

He – or she – is the mythical, legendary, TBA.

TBA has been in this position before. It’s less than a week until practice begins in St. Petersburg, and despite public statements in DCR press releases to the contrary saying the driver would be named by now, they haven’t.

TBA could be one of the team Twitter account’s recent follows: Conor Daly, Carlos Huertas, Luca Filippi, James Jakes, Sage Karam, Peter Dempsey or Sam Bird.

It could be one of its 2013 drivers currently without a full-time ride: Ana Beatriz, Pippa Mann, James Davison or Stefan Wilson.

It could be any of the late-1990s to early-2000s DCR second drivers like a Charlie Nearburg, Paul Jasper, Dennis Vitolo, Geoff Boss, Gualter Salles, Joel Camathias, Tarso Marques, Ricardo Sperafico or Juan Caceres.

It could be any of the names that have tested for Coyne this winter: Arie Luyendyk Jr., Francesco Dracone or Giuseppe Cipriani.

It could be none of the above 20-plus names and someone else plucked from an obscure open-wheel series altogether.

This is the brilliance of Dale Coyne’s second car. He’s always leaving us guessing until the 11th hour.

But I dream of one day where Coyne will run the No. 18 Sonny’s BBQ car in an official on-track session, with a driver in a plain white firesuit and a plain white helmet.

It will be then, and only then, that “TBA” will make his or her officially unofficial – or unofficially official – race weekend debut.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.