WATCH LIVE: Eli Tomac makes Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 450 Class debut at Muddy Creek

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After a week off, the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship is back with the fifth round of the series, the Red Bull Tennessee National, coming up today.

The off-week was anything but quiet as James Stewart made headlines when word came out that he failed a drug test during the Supercross season and has been provisionally suspended by the FIM. Because the failed test occurred while Stewart was racing in a different series, it won’t prevent him from racing the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship – at least for now.

Stewart was building up a ton of momentum in the 450 Class after sweeping both motos at High Point but is faced with quite possibly his biggest challenge ever on the track. Having recently inched closer to Ken Roczen in the championship battle, Stewart can not afford a setback and must mentally put the adversity aside.

Today also marks the debut of Eli Tomac in the 450 Class. Last year’s champion in the 250 Class is making the move to the premier class this season but has been sidelined through the first four rounds because of a broken collarbone.

Tomac could be set for a quick start to his 450MX career after posting the fastest lap in this morning’s qualifying session though. If he is healthy, expect him to settle in as a top-five rider battling the likes of Roczen, Stewart, Ryan Dungey and Trey Canard.

All four motos today will be streamed live online via ProMotocross.com and NBC Sports Live Extra starting with the first motos at 1PM E.T. Click here to watch.

NBC will also be televising the second 450 Class moto live at 3 PM E.T. Tune in to watch Stewart, Tomac, Roczen and the rest of the field battle for the overall win.

NBCSN will also provide same-day coverage of the second 250 Class moto at 6 PM E.T.

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.”