Rolex 24 update: Kobayashi leads, Busch set to run final stint as less than two hours remain

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Less than two hours remain in the 2020 edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and Wanye Taylor Racing has overcome a setback to be in position to win for the third time in four years.

Kamui Kobayashi currently leads the race in the team’s No. 10 Cadillac DPi, and is expected to remain in the car through the checkered flag after replacing Ryan Briscoe just after the 21-hour mark.

Just a few hours prior, the team suffered a major setback when Briscoe was assessed a penalty for running a light in the pits. After falling a lap down, Briscoe regained the lead lap under the fifth full-course caution of the race.

Tristan Nunez currently runs in the second position in the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest DPi.

Meanwhile, Kyle Busch is expected to run the final shift in No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 for AIM Vasser Sullivan.

Busch was back in the car for a triple stint at shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday after pulling a double stint around midnight.

He drove only 42 minutes in his debut Saturday night but helped put the team back on the lead lap and had him begging for time behind the wheel.

The No. 14 team is currently ranked ninth in the 18-car GTD field.

As of 12:00 pm ET, the leaders are:

DPi:

  1. No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing, Cadillac DPi, Kamui Kobayashi
  2. No. 77 Mazda Team Joest, Mazda DPi, Tristan Nunez
  3. No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing, Cadillac DPi, Loic Duval

LMP2:

  1. No. 81 Dragonspeed USA, ORECA LMP2 07, Harrison Newey
  2. No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports, ORECA LMP2 07, Gabriel Abury
  3. No. 18 Era Motorsport, ORECA LMP2 07, Kyle Tilley

GTLM:

  1. No. 912 Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR-19, Earl Bamber
  2. No. 24 BMW Rahal Letterman Lanigan, BMW M8 GTE, Jesse Krohn
  3. No. 911 Porsche GT Team, Porsche 911 RSR-19, Nick Tandy

GTD:

  1. No. 44 GRT Magnus, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Marco Mapelli
  2. No. 48 Paul Miller Racing, Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Andrea Caldarelli
  3. No. 88 WRT Speedstar Audi Sport, Audi RB LMS GT3, Mirko Bortolotti

Live coverage of the Rolex 24 at Daytona continues on NBC until 2 pm ET. Fans can also watch all remaining coverage on NBC Sports Gold’s Trackpass.

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.”