NBC announces 2019 American Flat Track schedule

American Flat Track
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On Tuesday, NBC Sports announced the 2019 schedule for coverage of the American Flat Track series.

NBCSN will cover all 18 rounds of the most historic form of American motorcycle racing with shows falling in a highly-desirable weekend time slot and re-airs in the middle of the week. The schedule showcases four distinct track formats: one-mile ovals, half-mile ovals, short tracks and TTs (which incorporate a right-hand turn and a jump).

This is the third consecutive season that NBC will cover the series and it adds to a smorgasbord of events that include AMA Supercross and Motocross, NASCAR, IndyCar and IMSA.

“American Flat Track has become a staple of our racing lineup on NBCSN,” said Jeff Macaluso, Senior Director, Programming, NBC Sports Group in a press release, “and we are excited to continue our partnership.”

Reaching speeds of almost 140 mph on dirt tracks around the country, American Flat Track is among the most exciting forms of racing.

“NBC Sports has provided the platform for American Flat Track to reach millions of new fans across the U.S.,” said Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track. “With strong weekend programming slots and exciting storylines both on and off the track, we are forging the path to another record-breaking year for AFT on NBCSN in 2019.”

American Flat Track’s telecasts will be produced by NASCAR Productions, who are uniquely qualified to provide a window into the drama surrounding the weekly events.

Exclusive features and editorial content highlight the triumphs and tribulations of the world’s elite dirt track motorcycle racers as they battle for the win. Cutting-edge technology including aerial drone footage and onboard cameras will once again put viewers on the edge of their seats as the riders blaze around the tight confines of some of America’s greatest dirt tracks.

American Flat Track will kick off its highly-anticipated 2019 season with the Bigger, Better, and Faster Daytona TT presented under the lights of the Daytona International Speedway on Thursday, March 14, 2019. The race will be telecast Sunday, March 24 at 4 p.m. ET.

The schedule for American Flat Track’s premiere telecasts on NBCSN follows, subject to change:

Date Track, Location Track Type Time (ET)
Sun., March 24 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL TT 4 p.m.
Sun., March 31 Dixie Speedway, Woodstock, GA Short Track 4:30 p.m.
Sun., April 28 Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, TX Half-Mile 5 p.m.
Sun., May 5 Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, Chandler, AZ TT 4:30 p.m.
Sun., May 19 Southern California Fair, Perris, CA Half-Mile 12 p.m.
Sun., May 26 Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA Mile 6 p.m.
Sat., June 1 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile 2:30 p.m.
Sat., June 8 Red Mile, Lexington, KY Mile 2 p.m.
Sun., June 23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, NH Short Track 2:30 p.m.
Sat, July 6 Allen County Fairgrounds, Lima, OH Half-Mile 1 p.m.
Sat., July 27 Weedsport Speedway, Weedsport, NY Short Track 12:30 p.m.
Sat., August 10 Buffalo Chip Campgrounds, Sturgis, SD TT 12:30 p.m.
Sat., August 10 Black Hills Speedway, Rapid City, SD Half-Mile 1:30 p.m.
Sun., August 25 Peoria Motorcycle Club, Peoria, IL TT 7 p.m.
Sun., September 8 Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL Mile 1:30 p.m.
Sat., September 21 Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA Half-Mile 3:30 p.m.
Sun., September 29 Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN Mile 5 p.m.
Sat., October 12 Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, NJ Mile 10:30 p.m.

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.”