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Fresh numbers for Kimball, Chilton at Carlin

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Carlin released Charlie Kimball and Max Chilton’s car numbers for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season last week, and they’re not what you might expect.

Kimball will be in the No. 23 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet and Chilton the No. 59 Gallagher Chevrolet for the Carlin team. They switch from numbers 83 and 8, which they’d run for the entirety of their IndyCar careers thus far.

Neither number has been prevalent on the IndyCar grid in recent years, and hasn’t been utilized since 2011.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing ran No. 23 for one of its cars from 2008 through 2011, with NBCSN IndyCar analyst Paul Tracy giving the number its most recent start at that year’s Indianapolis 500.

E.J. Viso ran No. 59 in the 2011 season for KV Racing Technology when it still had associated Lotus branding; the team also had No. 82 that year for Tony Kanaan (also with Lotus tie-in) and KV’s more traditional No. 5 for Takuma Sato.

The 2018 season opens in St. Petersburg in March, and returns to NBCSN in April at Phoenix’s renamed ISM Raceway. Carlin is expected to undertake its first tests as an IndyCar team in January, when team testing resumes.

Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.