Indy 500 qualifying postponed until Sunday due to rain

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UPDATE 14:30 ET – Indianapolis Motor Speedway has confirmed that qualifying for the 99th Indianapolis 500 will now be held on Sunday after rain limited Saturday’s session to just two complete runs.

Following an earlier delay in final practice due to wet weather, conditions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway improved to allow qualifying to kick off at 12:25pm ET.

Carlos Huertas opened the running for Dale Coyne Racing, posting a four-lap average of 228.235mph. He was followed by defending Indy 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay out on track, who managed to edge out the Colombian with a four-lap average of 229.845mph, giving himself an early provisional pole position.

Long Beach winner Scott Dixon (pictured) did look to threaten Hunter-Reay’s place at the top of the timesheets from the beginning of his run, putting in a first flying lap of 231.357mph.

However, Dixon’s charge was quickly brought to a halt after light rain began to fall at IMS, forcing officials to issue yellow flags and force the New Zealander to pit.

The rain soon intensified, prompting race control to issue a message that said qualifying would not resume until 3pm ET at the absolute earliest, given that a completely dry track is required for running to take place.

At 2:09pm ET, IMS confirmed via its Twitter account that qualifying has been postponed until tomorrow.

As per the circuit’s website, here is the revised schedule for tomorrow’s running:

  • 8am – 8:20 am – Practice Group 1
  • 8:20am – 8:40 am – Practice Group 2
  • 10 am – 1 pm Qualifications
  • 1:45pm – 2:30pm – Fast 9
  • 3pm – 3:45 pm – Group 2 Qualifying (Positions 31-33)

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.”