IndyCar’s points standings could be set for huge shakeup starting in Detroit

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Make a note of these points, now, entering the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit:

1. Marco Andretti, 168
2. Takuma Sato, 157
3. Helio Castroneves, 152
4. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 138
5. James Hinchcliffe, 128
6. Justin Wilson, 125
7. Tony Kanaan, 124
8. Scott Dixon, 122
9. Oriol Servia, 112
10. Simon Pagenaud, 108

Thus far Andretti’s been driving incredibly well, but has yet to win. Sato’s been aggressive and in attack mode. Castroneves is again driving within himself, with his patience paying dividends. Hunter-Reay has come out recharged after his championship and has opened 2013 better than in 2012; Hinchcliffe has had a bipolar start to the year with his first two wins but finishes of 21st or worse the other three races.

Dixon and Kanaan have “back-to-back” on the mind. After a lackluster Indy, Dixon seeks to repeat his win here a year ago; Kanaan, of course, seeks a street course result after the glory of finally taking his first Indianapolis 500 victory.

Wilson and Pagenaud are drivers to watch this weekend – Wilson already has a win in Detroit (2008) and Pagenaud recorded his second podium finish of the 2012 season this race last year. Either is a viable win candidate if the Honda is up to snuff on pace. Poor Servia, unfortunately, is out of a ride for this race with the temporary shuttering of Panther DRR.

The gap between Hinchcliffe (128, fifth) and James Jakes (68, 23rd) means that more than 20 spots in the points standings could change after this doubleheader weekend. Will Power (89, 14th) and Dario Franchitti (81, 17th) are also much lower in the standings than you might expect.

Essentially, the “second season” starts in Detroit after the month of May. Charlie Kimball, who sits just outside the top 10 in 11th with 106 points, described the mentality and change in mindset.

“The season really starts at Detroit,” he said. “St. Pete has the first race excitement, Barber we did a lot of testing, Long Beach is a home race for me, Brazil is so different, and Indy’s Indy.

“So we’ll go to Detroit, coming from Indy, being a doubleheader, and there’s a lot of opportunity for points. There’s nearly 110 points for a strong weekend in Detroit. Starting that swing through the month of June is a great opportunity to move forward in championship standings.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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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.