Chrysler orders nearly 100 pristine Dodge Vipers destroyed

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Although this is no laughing matter, one of comedian Larry the Cable Guy’s signature lines — “That ain’t right” – is quite appropriate in this instance.

According to MotorAuthority.com, Chrysler officials have recalled 93 Dodge Vipers that were donated to schools and colleges around the U.S. for educational purposes.

But the cars aren’t being recalled for defects – they’re being called back to be, get this, destroyed!

That’s right, smash, crash, scrap heap.

Several cars have already been crushed (see video of one getting smashed below), and it appears the destruction of the $100,000-plus each cars will continue until all 93 are nothing but memories and ground up metal.

The reason, according to KING TV in Seattle, is liability. Although the cars came with stipulations that they not be driven on public roadways because they weren’t certified, two in the fleet were reportedly involved in accidents that have cost the automaker over a million dollars in liability pay out, according to the KING report.

The most heartbreaking story of the Viper recall is also brought to us by KING, which interviewed South Puget Sound College Professor Norman Chapman, who revealed he received an email from Chrysler to have the school’s classic 1992 Viper destroyed.

“The VIN number here is number four, so it’s the fourth one off the production line,” Chapman told KING.

The royal blue roadster is valued at an estimated $250,000. Comedian and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno once tried to buy the car for that amount, but Chrysler turned him down, according to Chapman, whose school is in Olympia, Wash.

First eight rare Corvettes get wrecked in a sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky., and now this. While MotorAuthority.com said petitions are being circulated to stop the Viper destruction, odds are not good: Chrysler reportedly wants all the cars destroyed within the next two weeks.

“I’m hoping (Washington state) Governor Inslee or President Obama will give some sort of pardon like they do for turkeys at Thanksgiving,” said Chapman. “They can pardon the Viper.”

Below is one video of what the heartbreaking destruction of a Viper looks like. Make sure you have plenty of Kleenex or a hanky handy – you’ll need it.

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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.”