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Here’s a look at how IndyCar’s recent one-off numbers have fared

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Conor Daly is swapping the No. 18 on his usual Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda for the No. 88 this weekend, to pay tribute to the late Bryan Clauson.

It also gives Daly an opportunity to join the list of those drivers who for one reason or another have made recent temporary number swaps in the Verizon IndyCar Series.

Here’s a quick look at those who have done it in the last several years:

  • FullSizeRender (3)Charlie Kimball, 2016 Indianapolis 500. Kimball’s usual No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet switched to No. 42 for this year’s 100th Indianapolis 500, as his sponsor Tresiba lasts at least 42 hours after first use, and also will honor 42 pioneers within the diabetes community. Kimball started 16th and finished fifth, following a chaotic day of racing when his car was hit by debris but he soldiered on, actually running the same fuel strategy to the finish as race winner Alexander Rossi did.
  • Josef Newgarden now in Century 21 colors. Photo: INDYCAR
    Josef Newgarden now in Century 21 colors. Photo: INDYCAR

    Josef Newgarden, 2013 Indianapolis 500, 2015 Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis & Indianapolis 500. Before Newgarden’s No. 67 switched to No. 21 full-time for 2016, Newgarden made the one-off switcheroo on two occasions when driving for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and CFH Racing, owing to one-off sponsor Century 21. But he needed better realtor advice apparently in those three races, because they all ended with nondescript performances. The 2013 ‘500, he started 25th and ended 28th. In 2015, he started 12th and finished 20th in the Grand Prix after getting caught up in the Turn 1 mess, and at the ‘500, he started and finished ninth. Things have gone better with the No. 21 solely this year, but they didn’t when it was a one-off.

  • Dario Franchitti, 2012 Indianapolis 500. Franchitti went from the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to No. 50 for the 2012 Indy 500 owing to Target’s 50th anniversary (above). And for the inevitable cliche line that follows next, he hit the bullseye. Franchitti won the race despite starting 16th, and held off Takuma Sato’s last-lap pass attempt to do so. It marked the only time in Franchitti’s Ganassi IndyCar career he ran a number other than 10, and also his final victory of his career.
  • Lloyd in the No. 40202 car in 2009.(Photo by Darrell Ingham/ Getty Images)
    Lloyd in the No. 40202 car in 2009.(Photo by Darrell Ingham/ Getty Images)

    Alex Lloyd, 2009 Firestone Indy 300 at Homestead. The driver who’s developed quite a sense of humor and has made a career in writing about cars after not racing them full-time anymore is the answer to an obscure trivia question – who was the first driver to drive a car with five numbers in IndyCar? Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing turned to Lloyd for a one-off start at the 2009 season finale and the team’s usual No. 06 car, then driven by Robert Doornbos or Oriol Servia, adopted the No. 40202 owing to a breast cancer awareness promotion – and Lloyd has the tweet from 2009 to prove it. The driver who earlier that year was known as “Pink Lloyd” when he drove the No. 99 HER Energy Drink pink Honda in a Sam Schmidt/Chip Ganassi mashup effort at the Indianapolis 500 took the then-white-and-pink No. 40202 car to fifth on the grid, and eighth in the race. In a more conventional No. 19 car for Dale Coyne Racing, he was fourth in the Indianapolis 500 and series rookie-of-the-year the next year.

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.