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:
- 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, 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.
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.