Goodyear “zone tread” tire to return at Kansas

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After a successful debut at the abrasive Atlanta Motor Speedway for its “zone tread” tire, Goodyear will bring back a second version of it for next weekend’s NASCAR events at Kansas Speedway.

For Kansas, Goodyear will combine the new right-side zone tire with a new left-side tire that’s designed to give drivers more grip. The combination, which will only be used by the Sprint Cup Series teams, was borne from a test at Kansas this past July that involved Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman.

“At Kansas, this will be the third race after the repave and we’ve recognized that the track seems to have lost some grip, but has not yet begun to wear tires,” Goodyear director of race tires Greg Stucker said in a statement. “To address that, we increased the grip on the left side of the car with a more tractive compound.

“With additional grip on the left, the cars will be much faster, again putting more stress on the right-side tire. So, we’ve utilized multi-zone tread technology to have the same compound that we’ve run there since the repave on the outside of the right-side tire to keep that level of traction, and paired it with a tougher, more heat resistant compound on the inboard three inches for endurance.”

As Stucker alludes to, the zone tires combine two separate compounds – a softer outside portion for better grip and a harder inside portion for better resistance.

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.