Ross Kenseth back behind the wheel in Toledo while dad Matt will be racing at Darlington

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One of Matt Kenseth’s biggest fans will miss watching and cheering him on at Saturday night’s Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway.

But son Ross Kenseth has a good reason why he’ll be MIA: he’s taking a weekend break from his mechanical engineering studies at Clemson University, and while his dad is racing at Darlington, Ross will be racing himself in the 7-UP 150 ARCA race at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway.

Kenseth isn’t the only son of a famous racing father that will be competing in Saturday’s race in Toledo. Stephen Wallace, son of NASCAR Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace, will also be in the field.

The race will be the season opener at the half-mile, high-banked paved oval, and is aptly named “Border Wars,” with a field of 40-plus drivers from 11 states and Canada.

“It means a lot to have racers like Stephen Wallace and Ross Kenseth compete in the 7-Up 150,” said ARCA/CRA series president Glenn Luckett. “Not only are they good racers, their names will be ones that fans will recognize and hopefully want to come out and see compete against the best of the ARCA/CRA Super Series and ARCA Midwest Tour.”

The younger Kenseth is now 20. He recently became half-brother to the latest addition to the Kenseth family two weeks ago, Clara May Kenseth.

Wallace, 26, has previously raced in all three NASCAR pro series and is coming off a win two months ago in the World Series of Asphalt Racing championship in Florida.

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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.”