The #88 entry for rookie Pedersen, who stepped up from Indy Lights after a fifth-placed finish in the championship, was to be paired with its traditional #14-registered car for Santino Ferrucci.
The two numbers combined are often used to refer to fascist ideologies, and have been used by people who identify as neo-Nazis and white supremacists as a shorthand code to promote their beliefs.
Having become aware of the symbolism of their entries' numbers, the team owned by seven-time Indycar champion and four-time Indy 500 winner AJ Foyt has elected to make the switch to the #55 for Pedersen's car to distance itself from those connotations.
“After the reveal of the #88 livery last week, it was brought to our attention that the combination of our two individually entered numbers carries certain ideological and symbolic references," read a statement from the AJ Foyt Racing team.
“AJ Foyt Racing does not condone nor support any such ideologies or symbols, and to avoid any reprehensible associations, we have changed the entry number from 88 to 55.”
Kyle Kirkwood, AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet
Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images
Pedersen will make his testing debut as a fully fledged IndyCar driver in an open test at the Thermal Club, outside of Palm Springs in California, on the 2 February.
The two-day test is the first time at the motor club facility which has five miles of permanent road course tracks. The 17-turn, 2.9-mile track will be a combination of the North and South Palm circuits.Read Also:Robb confirmed in Coyne-RWR IndyCar line-up for 2023Ganassi signs Sato for IndyCar’s oval rounds in 2023Kyle Larson to race for McLaren-Hendrick in 2024 Indy 500
Danish-American driver Pedersen won one race in his two seasons in Indy Lights, placing fourth and fifth in the championship with the HMD-supported Global Racing Group squad.
He previously raced in the BRDC British F3 Championship - now known as the GB3 Championship - for two seasons after spending his formative years in single-seaters in the F4 United States category.
The IndyCar Series kicks off its 2023 season with its season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida on the weekend of 3-5 March.2023-01-27T22:03:02Z dg43tfdfdgfd