NASCAR: J.J. Yeley to replace Ryan Truex in No. 83 tomorrow at Michigan

0 Comments

J.J. Yeley has been confirmed as the replacement for Ryan Truex in the No. 83 BK Racing Toyota for tomorrow’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Truex was taken to a local hospital for evaluation after crashing hard in Turn 2 during the second Sprint Cup practice session this morning at MIS.

According to a team statement released shortly after 2:30 p.m. ET, Truex was diagnosed with a concussion and underwent CT scans of his head, neck, chest and abdomen. All of those scans came back negative.

ESPN’s Mike Massaro reported this morning that while Truex’s status was still in question, BK Racing was targeting Camping World Truck Series drivers Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton to potentially fill in. However, Massaro later tweeted that he was told neither Sauter and Crafton could fit in the driver’s seat and that Yeley was being considered instead.

Then, around 2 p.m. ET, Motorsport.com’s Lee Spencer reported that Yeley indeed got the nod, quoting team owner Ron Devine. About a half an hour later, the team put out their official statement.

Yeley is competing in today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This year, he has ran the majority of the Nationwide events and has also competed in six Sprint Cup events with a top finish of 34th at Sonoma Raceway.

Truex has made 19 starts in his rookie Cup season with a top finish of 20th two weeks ago at Pocono Raceway. He failed to qualify for the Daytona 500, Texas, and the June race at MIS.

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
0 Comments

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.”