Montoya’s high expectations, race car both run out of gas at Sonoma

0 Comments

Juan Pablo Montoya did everything he could to win Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway.

He ran up front and challenged for the lead numerous times during the 110-lap event that was won by Martin Truex Jr.

In the final year of his current contract with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Montoya has struggled terribly with just two top-five and one other top-10 finish in the first 16 races. He came into Sunday’s race ranked 22nd in the Sprint Cup standings.

A strong finish would likely have gotten him into the top 20 and may have served as motivation to edge closer to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Unfortunately, all of the hopes of Montoya and his team for a great finish ended on the final lap of Sunday’s race when his car ran out of fuel.

In the end, Montoya finished a disappointing 34th.

“It’s just a heartbreak, a heartbreak for me and everyone on the team,” Montoya said when interviewed by TNT after the race.

Not to add insult to injury or pour salt into his fresh wounds, but Montoya’s final pit stop came on Lap 69, the same lap Truex made his final stop.

One wound up having too much of a lead foot, while the other feathered his gas pedal all the way to Victory Lane.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
0 Comments

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.