Penske, BHA add new sponsors for 2013

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Two IndyCar teams have new sponsor additions besides their primary ones, and one other team has announced a new alliance

Team Penske has welcomed back Quicken Loans, which served as an associate for the team in 2003 and 2004. Penske finished 1-2 in the 2003 Indianapolis 500 with Gil de Ferran leading the fellow Panoz G Force Toyota driven by Helio Castroneves.

Quicken Loans will serve an associate sponsor of the Team Penske Nos. 3 and 12 cars for the season. It also is the presenting sponsor of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, which is part of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on May 31-June 2.

“When you look at getting into a sport like INDYCAR, you always look at who you want to partner with, and we definitely wanted to be with Penske,” said Quicken Loans communications director Aaron Emerson. “We have a past relationship and outside of racing we have a lot of synergy as well. Obviously, Roger Penske is from Detroit and our owner Dan Gilbert has invested millions of dollars in Detroit to revitalize buildings and bring the city back to where it was. Dan and Roger are also good friends. Very excited about this and ready to get racing.”

Bryan Herta Autosport, now known as Barracuda Racing in deference to primary sponsor Barracuda Networks, has added Lassonde and Oasis Juices to its sponsor portfolio. Oasis, a Quebec-based fruit and vegetable juice manufacturer, began their foray into IndyCar as a personal sponsor of driver Alex Tagliani last season.

“Lassonde is particularly proud to support talent such as that of Alexandre Tagliani,” said Mr. Pierre L’Heureux, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, Sales Administration, Marketing and R&D at A. Lassonde Inc. “Through his determination, perseverance and healthy lifestyle, Tag is the ideal athlete to represent Oasis brand values across North America.”

Tagliani’s striking new livery for the 2013 season was unveiled Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park (above, right).

Additionally, KV Racing Technology and SH Racing have announced an alliance that will see Tony Kanaan’s car referred to as the No. 11 KV Racing Technology – SH entry for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season.

SH Racing was founded in 2010 and made its debut in IndyCar in 2011, also in partnership with KVRT, at that year’s Indianapolis 500. Tomas Scheckter finished eighth in what was the No. 07 entry, and SH partnered with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for one further appearance at Baltimore.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry 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 multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“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,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”