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.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”