Darlington, Kansas to swap 2014 NASCAR dates; Kansas also adds sports car date

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NASCAR races at Darlington Raceway and Kansas Speedway will swap dates for 2014 as part of a revised full season Sprint Cup schedule.

Darlington shifts from its Mother’s Day Saturday night race in May to Saturday, April 12 for the Bojangles Southern 500, with the Nationwide Series on the Friday, April 11.

Kansas will now run the first of its two Cup races on Saturday night, May 10, with the Camping World Trucks Friday night, May 9. The race’s second Cup date will still be in October, on Oct. 5.

NASCAR has yet to release its full 2014 Sprint Cup schedule, but it should be out within the next couple weeks.

Kansas also dropped a nugget as it pertains to support and developmental series running with the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014, per an MRN Radio release.

The track’s infield road course hosted a round of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series this year, won by Jordan Taylor over Scott Pruett in a knockdown, drag-out fight. But Kansas did not make the 2014 TUDOR Championship schedule for United SportsCar.

The track announced that the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, IMSA Prototype Lites and IMSA Porsche GT3 Challenge will race on the road course on June 7. They are three of the series set to run with the TUDOR Championship on its schedule, or independently on some weekends.

Expect this as the first of several announcements where these or other series could be racing at tracks that did not secure a date on the 2014 TUDOR Championship calendar.

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.