From the Indy 500 paddock: Driver nicknames

Published On June 14, 2016 » 2690 Views» By Phillip B. Wilson » Blogs, Indy 500

Drivers participating in last month’s 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil were asked their nicknames by correspondent Phillip B. Wilson.

Mikhail Aleshin, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports: “Many people here call me ‘Mad Russian.’”

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing: “I get ‘Dixie’ a lot, I think.”

Sebastien Bourdais, KVSH Racing: “Seabass. You can’t change it if it’s been given to you.”

Townsend Bell, Andretti Autosport: “’T.’ The mechanics, behind my back, they call me ‘Tinker’ because they think I’m a little sensitive. I actually don’t mind that anymore. It sets an expectation that I want to tweak on things constantly.”

"Tinker" Bell? That's a nickname Townsend has warmed up to.

“Tinker” Bell? That’s a nickname Townsend has warmed up to.

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan with Theodore Racing: “Hammer.”

Takuma Sato, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: “Everyone calls me ‘Taku.’”

Alexander Rossi, Andretti Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian: “Alex. I guess that’s not much of a nickname.”

Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport: “My friends just call me ‘M.A.’”

Matt Brabham, PIRTEK Team Murray: “‘Matty Brabs.’ I don’t mind. To be honest, I don’t really care what anyone really calls me. They can call me ‘Matt,’ ‘Matthew,’ ‘Brabham,’ ‘Brabs,’ ‘Matty Brabs.’ I think originally my mom and dad called me that as a young kid and it’s kind of stuck with me.”

Bryan Clauson, Dale Coyne/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing: “‘B.C.’ is what you get.”

Alex Tagliani, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: “‘Tag.’”

Stefan Wilson, KV Racing Technology: “‘Stretch.’ (Laughs.) Charlie Kimball calls me that. I don’t mind. It’s OK.”

Calling a 6-foot-4 driver "Stretch" makes sense, no?

Calling a 6-foot-4 driver “Stretch” makes sense, no?

Gabby Chaves, Dale Coyne Racing: “‘Gabby.’ My mom and grandparents called me that and it just stuck. I’m fine with it. I like it.”

Charlie Kimball, Chip Ganassi Racing: “‘C.K.’ It’s kind of boring, but I like it.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport: “‘RHR.’ ‘Flyin’ Ryan.’”

Jack Hawksworth, A.J. Foyt Enterprises: “‘The Hawk.’”

Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport: “‘Carlito.’”


About The Author

Phillip B. Wilson

Phillip B. Wilson came to the Indianapolis 500 as a kid, got hooked and has been coming back every year since. He considers himself lucky to have covered the race for two decades for The Indianapolis Star. In August 2014, he joined the Scout online network as publisher of and Web pages. But May is his favorite time of year. He can't be more ecstatic about his second year working for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a correspondent.