Detroit GP reports spending increase; tickets on sale for it and Milwaukee today

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We noted on the ground back in June the impact that Roger Penske’s group has made for the revitalization of the Detroit Chevrolet Belle Isle Grand Prix from a corporate perspective. And earlier this week, the event announced there was more than $1 million new spending generated at this year’s doubleheader weekend.

A report done by sports consulting firm Sportsimpacts revealed the Grand Prix generated $46.3 million in total spending. Of that amount, $17 million represents new spending to the region as a result of non-local sources that will be retained long term as new income for Detroit-area households, businesses and government. The direct spending impact, which refers to all spending by local and non-local spectators, participants, and other expenditures towards event operations and infrastructure for the Grand Prix in 2013 was estimated at $28.8 million.

Detroit will host an encore of its doubleheader weekend in 2014, set for May 30-June 1. IndyCar has two races and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Pirelli World Challenge share the bill. Tickets for the event go on sale today at www.detroitgp.com, and press events with drivers have been tweeted all day via the @DetroitGP Twitter handle.

Tickets also go on sale today for the Milwaukee IndyFest, a fellow Midwestern race on the IndyCar calendar that has shifted its date from June to August, post the Wisconsin State Fair. More information on this race, now renamed the (takes breath) ABC Supply Co., Inc. Wisconsin 250 of Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers (exhales), can be found on the race website, www.milwaukeeindyfest.com.

I’ll argue here that clunky race names can be a good thing – Belle Isle’s IndyCar races are called the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans, as well – because it speaks to the excellent work by the Penske and Andretti Sports Marketing organizations to bring in more partners to support races on the IndyCar calendar.

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.”