Ex-John Force crew chief Jimmy Prock hired by rival Don Schumacher Racing


Jimmy Prock didn’t even have time to get to the unemployment line.

Two days after leaving John Force Racing, Prock will now call one of Force’s biggest rivals, Don Schumacher Racing, his new home, effective immediately.

DSR issued a brief statement that Prock has been hired for a “position yet to be determined.”

On Tuesday, Prock told his boss, 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force, that he was submitting his resignation, effective at the end of the season.

Force accepted the resignation, but then a few hours later, came back to Prock and told him if he was resigning, Force wanted it to be immediately.

Prock complied and left Force’s shop and ultimately, his employ, even though Force is in a huge bind now, fighting for a record-extending 17th championship without a crew chief to fill Prock’s shoes for the final two races of the season.

Speculation is Prock will become the crew chief for Jack Beckman, but DSR officials have refused to confirm that as yet.

With two races remaining in the 2014 NHRA season, DSR has a combined 19 wins between its seven Top Fuel and Funny Car teams. Top Fuel drivers Antron Brown and Tony Schumacher have six and five wins respectively, while teammate Spencer Massey has two wins.

In Funny Car, points leader Matt Hagan has three wins for DSR this season, while teammates Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson have two and one wins, respectively, as well. Beckman remains winless this season.

Meanwhile, John Force Racing has 12 combined wins, all in Funny Car and split between Force and daughter Courtney Force. Brittany Force, another daughter of John, is still seeking her first career win in Top Fuel.

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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

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.”