UPDATE: Castroneves’ Texas winning car penalized

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Roger Penske’s team is batting the worst 2-for-2 possible this year. Penske Racing was penalized after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in April, and now it faces further penalties after the IZOD IndyCar Series race at the same facility.

INDYCAR announced Tuesday that Helio Castroneves’ race-winning No. 3 AAA Chevy had violated Rule 14.6.6.14 of the 2013 IndyCar rulebook – an underwing violation.

For the infraction, the team was fined $35,000 and docked 15 entrant points, but Castroneves’ driver points were not impacted. Penske can appeal the penalty if he desires.

Justin Wilson’s team was penalized after he had won last year’s Texas race, as well. The team was fined $7,500 and docked five entrant points for not complying with the sidepod top deck aerodynamic element of Rule 14.6.4.13 of last year’s rulebook.

UPDATE, 5:15 p.m. ET: Penske Racing president Tim Cindric has issued the following statement regarding the penalty:

“Obviously we are very disappointed that the No. 3 car did not pass post-race inspection after Saturday’s race at Texas. The rule in question (14.6.6.14) states that the diffuser exit must measure 7.600.” After the race, ours was 7.575″ because we neglected to tighten the braces that position the rear of the diffuser following pre-race inspection.

The way Helio’s car raced did not provide any advantage as a lower diffuser height actually adds drag and reduces downforce. To ensure this is the case, we ran this configuration in the wind tunnel on Monday morning and found that the No. 3 car actually raced with three pounds less downforce and one pound more drag than what it would have had if we tightened the underwing braces properly.”

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

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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.