Jack Harvey set for Indy 500 debut with Andretti Autosport

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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LONG BEACH, Calif. – After more than a year out of the cockpit, Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires veteran Jack Harvey will make his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in one of the best seats on the grid.

Harvey has been confirmed with Andretti Autosport to drive its fifth Honda-powered entry for this year’s 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, alongside the team’s full-season quartet of defending Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi, 2014 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Takuma Sato.

He’ll be in the No. 50 Honda with support from AutoNation, a longtime Andretti Autosport partner.

“The Indy 500 is easily the biggest race I have entered in my career so far,” Harvey said in a release. “It is one of the most iconic races in the world and I feel extremely privileged to be taking part in it. To have the opportunity to do this with one of the best teams on the grid – a team that has won two of the last three races there – is more than I could have dreamed of.

“We have been working incredibly hard over the last 18 months to make this happen and it’s hard to put into words what this means to me.  I want to thank the whole Andretti Autosport team for this opportunity.  I also want to thank everyone that has supported me over my racing career; especially my family, friends and my manager. Finally, this wouldn’t be possible without the support of AutoNation, so I am very grateful for them helping me put this together.”

“AutoNation is excited to build on our partnership with Andretti Autosport through the sponsorship of Jack Harvey,” added AutoNation CMO and EVP Marc Cannon. “Jack is a talented driver who will be joining AutoNation in the fight against cancer by supporting our Drive Pink initiative. By racing the No. 50 car, Jack is celebrating the 50 million customers AutoNation has serviced over the last 20 years, who show their encouragement through their Pink Plates to benefit breast cancer research. The entire AutoNation team will be rooting for Jack Harvey and Ryan Hunter-Reay on race day.”

He won the 2015 Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, thus far his career highlight after coming up short of winning the Indy Lights titles in both 2014 and 2015 in challenging, heartbreaking fashion.

Harvey has had multiple tests with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in IndyCar over the last couple years on road courses. He has served as a driver coach with SPM in Indy Lights and additionally serves as Neil Alberico’s coach this year, for the Rising Star Racing-supported driver at Carlin.

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.”