PIRTEK Team Murray partners with Chris Kyle Frog Foundation for Indy 500

Photo: PIRTEK Team Murray

Following its announcement last week in Australia that “Crusher” Murray has partnered with KV Racing Technology to create PIRTEK Team Murray, for Matthew Brabham’s debut in the 100th Indianapolis 500 and Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis the race before, the team has also revealed a major partnership announcement today at the Performance Racing Industry trade show.

Here is the full release:

The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation has announced it will join forces with PIRTEK Team Murray for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May 2016.

Established in 2014 in honor of the famed American Sniper, Chris Kyle, the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation is dedicated to serving military and first responders through meaningful interactive experiences that enrich family relationships.

Executive Director of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation Taya Kyle was on hand in Indianapolis with driver Matt Brabham and team owner Brett Murray at the annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show (December 10-12) to officially unveil the PIRTEK Team Murray Indy 500 entry on the Verizon IndyCar Series stand.

Taya Kyle was also announced as the team’s Official Ambassador, which will see her involved in a range of activities, including being the team’s guest on the pre-race grid on Sunday May 29 – Memorial Day Weekend.

The PIRTEK Team Murray effort will see 21-year-old Matt Brabham become just the third third generation driver to start the world’s biggest single day sporting event behind his famous grandfather, Sir Jack, and father Geoff, who made 10 starts in the world’s most famous motor race.

The team has naming rights sponsorship from international fluid transfer systems specialists PIRTEK, who will be using the Indianapolis 500 to launch the next phase of their business in the US. The team will have supply and technical alliance with KV Racing Technology, which won the Indy 500 in 2013 with Tony Kanaan.

The team will join with the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation to develop an integrated program serving military and first responder families in the lead up to the 500.

Ms. Kyle – the wife of American Sniper Chris Kyle and author of the New York Times best-seller, American Wife – welcomed the opportunity of becoming the team’s Official Ambassador.

“The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation is honored and incredibly excited to be a part of PIRTEK Team Murray and the 100-year tradition rooted in excellence that is the Indianapolis 500,” said Kyle.

“Team Owner, Brett Murray and many of those involved with PIRTEK Team Murray are close friends of my sister, Ashley and her family in Australia, we’re humbled that Brett has presented the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation this opportunity and look forward to working with the team to leverage our programs.”

PIRTEK Team Murray principal, Brett Murray welcomed the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation and Taya Kyle as part of his team.

“Since the Foundation was launched in November 2014 it has been very close to our business, but more importantly close to our heart in both the U.S. and Australia,” said Murray.

“The 100th Indianapolis 500 will be a special day for us, but I’m most proud that, in concert with the Foundation and PIRTEK, we’ll be able to make a difference to American service men and women using this platform.”

Matt Brabham understands the magnitude of having the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation as part of his racing effort at the 100th Indianapolis 500.

“Chris Kyle was an American hero,” said Brabham. “Everyone knows what sort of a gladiator he was, so to have Taya standing with us today is a real honor. Welcoming the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation and the military community along for the ride with PIRTEK Team Murray is something really special,” he continued.

The #61 PIRTEK Team Murray Chevrolet-Dallara will carry the spirit of Chris Kyle with it throughout the entire Month of May campaign as the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation logo will be on the car’s nose and cockpit as well as on all team uniforms and equipment.

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.”