Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race winner Benjamin Pedersen will climb to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES in 2023 with AJ Foyt Racing.
The agreement spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop Danish-American driver Pedersen and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing. Pedersen will make his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut in one of the Foyt team’s Chevrolet-powered entries in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 5, 2023.
Pedersen, 23, a native of Copenhagen, Denmark, who grew up in Seattle, won the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Portland on Sept. 4 for his first career Lights victory. The dominant victory from the pole helped Pedersen finish fifth in the Lights standings in 2023.
“I’m super excited to get going with the team,” Pedersen said. “I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to INDYCAR, and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season. INDYCAR has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”
Team president Larry Foyt’s interest in Pedersen began early in the 2022season when a trusted colleague suggested Pedersen to him. Pedersen and Foyt met, and Pedersen began shadowing the team early in the season.
“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to INDYCAR, AJ Foyt Racing and doing the best he can to win races. It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multiyear program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”
Pedersen moves to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES after two seasons in Indy Lights. He recorded 11 podium finishes during his Lights tenure, including the victory in Portland.
“The Indy Lights series and car serves as the ultimate transition into INDYCAR,” Pedersen said. “From a series perspective, Indy Lights goes to the INDYCAR events, so we share the same weekend format, points, rules, race director, etc. This makes the transition very natural to INDYCAR, as all of these things will stay the same.
“From a car perspective, I can say firsthand that the Indy Lights car is a great car to transition from since it really rewards pushing to a high limit and almost overdriving a bit on the peak of the tire.”