Phoenix Update: Carl Edwards leads at halfway mark

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A quick pit stop has Carl Edwards leading the Subway Fresh Fit 500k at the halfway point.

On Lap 141, Ryan Newman hit the wall for the second time of the afternoon and brought out the caution. Brad Keselowski and pole sitter Mark Martin were the top two at the time, but Edwards was able to beat ’em all out of the pits when everyone came in for service.

Keselowski had been the leader since Lap 128, when he took the point from pole sitter Mark Martin — who had re-assumed the lead by staying out under caution following Newman’s first run-in with the wall on Lap 98.

Martin was forced to give up track position when he pitted under green at Lap 64 after disclosing a possible loose wheel on his No. 55 Toyota. But when a yellow came out one lap later for a Dave Blaney crash, Martin was able to receive the “free pass” and get back on the lead lap. He then drove back into the top 25 before returning to the front of the field on Newman’s aforementioned first incident.

As for those that had to start at the back of the field today, Kurt Busch (damaged primary car in qualifying) and Denny Hamlin (engine change) have both charged into the Top 10. However, Kyle Busch (engine change) is still trying to get up front thanks to a spin and damage he sustained on Lap 48.

Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix

Top 10 at Lap 156/312 (Halfway Point)

1. Carl Edwards

2. Jimmie Johnson

3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

4. Kevin Harvick

5. Denny Hamlin

6. Matt Kenseth

7. Aric Almirola

8. Kasey Kahne

9. Kurt Busch

10. Greg Biffle

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.