Phoenix Racing changes look

Phoenix Racing has changed the number with which its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team will compete this season.

The team has officially switched from its familiar No. 09 to the No. 51 for the remainder of the season.

"The number change was something we’ve thought about for a while," said team owner James Finch. "Being in their home state of our sponsor Security Benefit, this is a great time to roll it out. This was our original number when we first came to NASCAR and it’s great to have it back in our stable."

Security Benefit, based in Topeka, Kan., has supported the team in every event of 2011, the first year in the sport for the company. The Thank a Teacher Today program will now be prominent on not only the car, but also the team transporter, driver and crew uniforms as well as pit equipment.

"It’s been great to see everyone support this car because of its message," driver Landon Cassill said. "It’s great to come to the Kansas Speedway with a new number and increased presence for Thank a Teacher Today. The car looks pretty cool and there are some exciting things still to come."

The team plans continued announcements regarding the Thank a Teacher Today program later this season.

The No. 51 was last used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the 2010 Daytona 500 by Michael Waltrip. Prior to that, Phoenix Racing used the number in four events in 2001 with driver Jeff Purvis. The number has been used in 336 Sprint Cup events with two wins by Gober Sosebee in 1952 and 1954.