Harding Racing has revealed its livery for this year’s 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, as the group owned by Mike Harding and managed by Larry Curry is set to make its debut in the race with 2014 Indy Lights champion and 2015 IndyCar/Indianapolis 500 rookie-of-the-year Gabby Chaves.
The team made its first test last month at Texas Motor Speedway in a bare carbon No. 88 car, before revealing the livery yesterday.
Chaves’ No. 88 Chevrolet takes on a white and light blue livery to match the logo for Harding’s asphalt and concrete contractor business, Harding Group.
More notably, the styling of the No. 88 is close to that of NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr., with the angled red number nearly identical.
Harding has said the No. 88 has a special meaning to him and Byrd Racing, sponsor for the late Bryan Clauson in last year’s Indianapolis 500 with Dale Coyne Racing, graciously released the number back to INDYCAR for Harding’s use in 2017.
This isn’t the first time in recent years an Indianapolis 500 entry has had a similar font for its number as a NASCAR driver. Two years ago, Jeff Gordon was in his final season driving in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and NBCSN IndyCar analyst Townsend Bell paid tribute to that on his No. 24 Chevrolet with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing with a similarly styled No. 24 logo and font on his car.
When the number was tweeted at Earnhardt Jr., he approved of it writing, “That’s so cool.”
As for Chaves, here’s the social posts of the car’s reveal, below: