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Ryan Hunter-Reay: Respect the No. 1

The 2012 IndyCar champion became the first titlist since Scott Dixon in 2004 to use the No. 1 the following season. He believes that more champions should respect the history of the number in open-wheel history.

Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE

Ryan Hunter-Reay says that new IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon should opt to use the No. 1 as is open-wheel tradition.

In a recent interview, Hunter-Reay -- the only driver to have used the No. 1 in the post-merger era -- stated that more champions should respect the tradition of running the number considering that they've earned it.

"The champion should use No. 1," Hunter Reay said. "It's something that's been part of Indy car for many, many years. It's a tradition that I think teams should respect. The team, the guys on the car and the driver earn No. 1.

"They should run it."

The 2012 champion was the first to run the No. 1 in the IndyCar Series since Dixon last ran it during the 2004 season to celebrate his 2003 crown. Dixon endured a frustrating season that year and opted to keep his No. 9 when he was again faced with the option after winning the 2008 championship.

Hunter-Reay isn't nearly as superstitious.

"I look forward to going back to the (No.) 28 because that's my number. If bad luck or circumstance or lack of results come down to the number that you run on your car, then we all wouldn't be testing in the off-season."

In a separate November interview, Dixon's car owner, Chip Ganassi, says he would like to run it once again, assuming that everyone associated with the team is on-board.

"I'm going to talk about that with our people and our sponsors and see what they all think," Ganassi said. "Personally, I might like to - it has such a great history."

Should Ganassi and Dixon switch to the No. 1 next season or just stick with the No. 9? Tell us in the comments section below.