WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA feat. Sprint Cup champion crew chief Rodney Childers at 5 p.m. ET

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It’s all worked out for Kevin Harvick, who is basking in the glow of winning his inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

But a big reason for Harvick’s triumph is his crew chief, Rodney Childers, who made the call to put four fresh tires on Harvick during a late yellow in Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The decision put Harvick outside the Top 10 initially, but Childers’ 4-tire call paid off as his driver raced all the way to the front through two more restarts and then held off Ryan Newman to win the race and the title.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA, NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast will talk with Childers about the 4 team’s run to the championship and what it expects the off-season will bring. You can watch today at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or you can also STREAM IT online and on your mobile device through NBC Sports Live Extra.

Also on tap:

  • A sneak preview of Friday’s 30-minute “SCAN ALL 43: Championship Edition” special, featuring the best team radio chatter from Sunday’s thrilling Ford Ecoboost 400…
  • Recaps of last night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series awards banquet in Miami – plus a discussion on Kyle Busch’s comments during said banquet about how he thinks Toyota teams should form an alliance to better compete against what he sees as the Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing “super team”…
  • And we’ll count down the Top-5 race-winning moments of the 2014 Sprint Cup season…

If you plan to stream, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified. Once you plug those pieces of information in, you’ll have access to the stream.

Again, CLICK HERE at 5 p.m. ET to watch NBCSN’s NASCAR AMERICA.

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.”