Kyle Busch dusted Sam Hornish Jr. for the lead with eight laps to go and went on to his 11th NASCAR Nationwide Series win of the 2013 season tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
After the yellow came out on Lap 156 for an incident involving Jeffrey Earnhardt, Busch was able to take the lead from Kyle Larson during the subsequent stops on pit road. But Sam Hornish Jr. wouldn’t let Busch run away and with 20 laps to go, he was able to pass “Rowdy” for the lead in Turn 1.
Busch fell into a battle for second with Austin Dillon, but took advantage of lapped traffic in order to keep his spot. He was then able to reel in Hornish, the former Indianapolis 500 champion, and with the two once again facing traffic, Busch got by Hornish on the high line in Turn 2 for what would be the race-winning pass.
“Here on the racetrack, it was certainly fun,” Busch told ESPN in Victory Lane. “It was challenging tonight, and I think I had the Good Lord riding with me at the end. I lost the lead and I didn’t think we’d win the thing, and somehow, I got to the top and started making time and I was able to get back up there.”
Dillon, the NNS championship leader, was able to peel second place off of Hornish with five laps left to essentially create a draw tonight in their title battle among each other. With the series now heading for a couple of weeks off, Dillon holds an eight-point edge over Hornish. Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth completed the Top 5.
As for Larson, he looked ready to battle back after dropping to fifth following those aforementioned stops. He quickly charged to third on the high line, but was unable to advance any further and then with less than 20 laps remaining, he pancaked the wall and steadily began falling to an eventual 13th-place finish.
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.