IndyCar: Marco Andretti is both paying it forward, and set for another number change

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With Conor Daly testing next week at Sebring for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Daly took the opportunity to thank a friend and potential on-track rival who assisted in the opportunity.

Daly noted how Marco Andretti helped to pitch in so Daly could pay for his first Verizon IndyCar Series test in nearly two years. See a message from Daly posted on Twitter, below:

Andretti, meanwhile, has another number in mind: 27.

The Nazareth, Pa. native is set to switch from 25, which he has had the last two seasons, after carrying the No. 26 from 2006 through 2012.

“#27in15” Andretti posted on Twitter on Friday, before posting another image of his car’s rear wing with that new number to Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

#27in15. #Snapple #MutualOfOmaha #Honda

A post shared by Marco Andretti (@marcoandretti) on

The Andretti Autosport team more or less confirmed the switch to 27 on Friday, as well.

From a numerology standpoint, this means Andretti will take on James Hinchcliffe’s old number of 27, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz set to retain their 2014 numbers of 28 and 34, respectively.

It leaves open Andretti Autosport’s Nos. 25 and 26 for a fourth and/or possible fifth entry, that are still in the process of being finalized.

Justin Wilson has been mentioned as a possibility for the seat and/or seats; 2014 F1 drivers Jean-Eric Vergne and Kevin Magnussen were tossed out within the last couple months; Zach Veach is keen on a program after two years with the team in Indy Lights and German Daniel Abt is the only driver in this group who has actually tested for the team this winter. Vergne has raced the last two FIA Formula E events for Andretti’s team, and has also been confirmed as a test driver for Ferrari in the last month or so.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.