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.
The record winning streak of Kyle Larson in the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions came to a jarring halt Sunday night with a wild crash in a heat race.
On the third lap of the second heat race at Huset Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota, Larson got high entering Turn 1 and slammed the wall. His No. 57, which had won the past seven races in the ASCOC (and its previous eight starts in the series), flipped multiple times before coming to a stop upside down on the dirt.
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Larson reportedly was OK after the crash, but his car was too damaged to continue, causing the driver to miss the main event. Cory Eliason scored his first ASCOC victory this season (and $20,000) by winning the 35-lap A main over Kerry Madsen before a capacity crowd.
The crash came while Kyle Larson was running last. He had rejoined the heat race after suffering a flat right rear tire a few minutes earlier in contact with the frontstretch wall on the second lap.
It was a disappointing end to a night that started with promise for Larson, who had set the fastest lap in time trials. It also snapped a run in which he was unbeaten from July 10 through Aug. 1 in the 410 winged sprint car circuit owned by Tony Stewart that started in 1970. Larson had 23 victories in his previous 37 starts on dirt since the beginning of June in sprint cars and USAC midget events.
He will have to wait a while to start his next streak in the ASCOC, which will take two weeks off before returning Aug. 21 at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan.
The dirt racing world will spend the next two weekends at Knoxville Raceway, which postponed its annual Knoxville Nationals but still will be playing host to a 360 Nationals event Aug. 6-8 from World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Series on Aug. 13-15.