Geoff Stoneback earns win in inaugural Formula DRIFT PRO 2 race at Homestead-Miami

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In the first race of the new Formula DRIFT PRO 2 intermediate series, Geoff Stoneback earned the victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway in his Nissan S14.

Stoneback held off a strong challenge in the finals by runnerup Nate Hamilton in a Nissan 240 SX to not only take the checkered flag, but also assumed the top spot in the Pro 2 standings.

Finishing third was Carl Rydquist in a Nissan 350Z.

It was a long day running both in the Pro Championship and PRO 2,” Stoneback said. “It was definitely great to run in PRO 2 as it bridges the gap between the Pro Championship and PRO 2. We are happy to be on the podium and the team did great.”

The PRO 2 series was introduced to serve as an intermediary league for drivers, particularly those who have previously competed in the Pro-Am series, to eventually climb to the higher level Formula Drift Pro Championship series.

“PRO 2 proved to be successful in delivering quality competition for the Friday fans,” said Jim Liaw, Formula DRIFT president. “The PRO 2 drivers are able to compete against each other while gaining valuable experience on the professional level.”

The 2014 Formula DRIFT PRO 2 season continues with Round 2 on July 18-19 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash.

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PRO 2 Round 1 Event Results

Winner: Geoff Stoneback, GSR Nissan S14

2nd: Nate Hamilton, ONE44 Motorsports / Enkei Wheels Nissan 240SX

3rd: Carl Rydquist, Road Race Engineering / Berk Nissan 350Z

 

Formula DRIFT PRO 2 Standings After One Round

1. Geoff Stoneback, GSR Nissan S14, 107.50 points

2. Nate Hamilton, ONE44 Motorsports / Enkei Wheels Nissan 240SX, 84.50 points

3. Carl Rydquist, Road Race Engineering / Berk Nissan 350Z, 74.00 points

4. Jeremy Lowe, Enjuku Racing Mazda RX-7, 67.00 points

5. Dan Savage, Sikky Manufacturing Mazda RX-8, 52.50 points

6. Brad Heyl, Standard Automotive Apparel / Sikky Manufacturing Nissan 350Z, 52.50 points

7. Will Parsons, NonStop Tuning AutoComp Racing Toyota AE86, 52.50 points

8. Dave Briggs, Achilles Radial / Turbo by Garrett Nissan S14, 51.00 points

9. Rob Primozich, Garage Autohero Track Attack Nissan 240SX, 38.00 points

10. Matt Coffman, Matt Coffman Racing / PSI Nissan S13, 36.50 points

11. Tyler Wolfson, GT Radial SAE Motorsport Mazda RX-7, 35.00 Points

12. James Evans, Sikky Manufacturing Nissan 350Z, 35.00 points

13. Doug Van Den Brink, Denofa Motorsports BMW, 35.00 points

14. Andy Hateley, Hately Motorsports BMW E30 325i, 35.00 points

15. Ron Ewerth, Vision / Buddyclub / BRE Scion FR-S, 35.00 points

16. Tony Cisneros, 116 Motorsports Nissan 240SX, 35.00 points

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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.”