Pro Motocross announces nine-race 2020 schedule that begins Aug. 15

Pro Motocross schedule
ProMotocross.com
1 Comment

The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship announced a nine-race 2020 Pro Motocross schedule that will begin Aug. 15 with the inaugural pro event at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.

Series organizers announced Aug. 14 that Loretta Lynn’s Ranch also would play host to the second race of the season, replacing the Washougal National in Washington.

There will be five consecutive rounds (including the first motocross doubleheader at RedBud MX) to begin the season, which had been delayed multiple times by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

All events on the 2020 schedule will adhere to social distancing guidelines and health management protocols. Each round will be conducted in accordance with local and state ordinances, as identified between the event organizer and local officials.

Here’s the revised  Pro Motocross schedule of nine events this year:

Pro Motocross schedule 2020

–Loretta Lynn’s National, Aug. 15

–Loretta Lynn’s National, Aug. 22

–Ironman National, Aug. 29

–RedBud MX, Sept. 5, Sept. 8

–Spring Creek National, Sept. 19

–WW Ranch National, Sept. 26

–Thunder Valley National, Oct. 3

–Fox Raceway National, Oct. 10

Here’s the release from the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (July 16, 2020) – Following extensive efforts by race organizers, local government and health officials, participants, sponsors, and series partners, MX Sports Pro Racing has announced the intention to host a nine-round schedule to complete the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. The season is scheduled to begin on August 15, with the inaugural professional event at famed Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. The next eight rounds will take place at well-known venues ranging from Washougal MX Park in Washington to Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota. The 2020 series will also feature the first-ever Pro Motocross “doubleheader” at RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan.

The first half of the season will open with five consecutive rounds. Following the debut of the Loretta Lynn’s National, the schedule will then travel to the scenic Pacific Northwest for the Washougal National, on August 22, before heading to the greater Indianapolis area for the Ironman National, on August 29. From there, Michigan’s legendary RedBud MX will give way to the season’s lone off weekend after it hosts a pair of races around the Labor Day holiday, on Saturday, September 5, and Tuesday, September 8. Racing will resume with the Spring Creek National in Minnesota, on September 19, before heading to Florida for the WW Ranch National, on September 26. The penultimate round of the championship will take place in Colorado with the Thunder Valley National, on October 3, before crowning a pair of champions in Southern California at the season-ending Fox Raceway National, on October 10.

All events on the 2020 Pro Motocross schedule will adhere to social distancing guidelines and health management protocols. Each round will be conducted in accordance with local and state ordinances, as identified between the event organizer and local officials.   The paddock will be closed to the general public, with access limited to properly credentialed parties only and facemasks required at all times.  Hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer stands will be placed throughout the venues and personal hygiene education signage will be prominent.

“While we continue to navigate through these challenging and continuously evolving times of the coronavirus pandemic, we are confident that we’ve developed the framework for a high-caliber championship schedule that can be successfully implemented,” said Roy Janson, MX Sports Pro Racing Competition Director. “Although we respect the unpredictability of scheduling any live events during these uncertain times and are sensitive to the hardships many people are going through, we remain committed to making our best effort to host the world’s most prestigious motocross championship. Thanks to the tireless and cooperative efforts of our event organizers, competitors, sponsors and partners, not to mention the ongoing communication alongside local officials, we have an opportunity to prioritize the health and well-being of everyone. We will conduct these events in a safe environment by implementing several policies, all in an effort to control as many variables as possible.”

Select events will feature limited spectator capacity, while others will be conducted exclusively for participants, professional and amateur, with attendance limited to crew members and family. All events will feature an amateur racing component, both before and after the professional race day. Ticketing and amateur race program information will be posted Monday, July 20, on the event websites.

“From the moment we faced our first bout of adversity surrounding the coronavirus we have diligently tried to find a way to make the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship a reality,” said Davey Coombs, President of MX Sports Pro Racing. “Needless to say, it’s been a tumultuous year for everyone, and I think we’re on Plan ‘W’ by now. But we’re racers at heart, and our business is founded on bringing together fellow racers for some of the world’s most competitive and high-profile off-road motorcycle events. We know the motocross community is as passionate about this championship as we are, as it’s the lifeblood of the sport, and it’s been our goal to bring everyone, from riders to fans alike, the series they deserve. We’re confident that this schedule will accomplish that, and we look forward to providing the joy and sense of normalcy that American motocross can bring during these incredibly uncertain times.”

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
4 Comments

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.”