Sprint car icon Steve Kinser to run final full season in 2014

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In 2014, “The King” of the World of Outlaws will be going after the throne, one last time.

Tony Stewart Racing has announced that Steve Kinser, a 20-time champion of the WoO STP Sprint Car Series, will make next year his final full season on the circuit. A year-long farewell tour – dubbed the “Salute to the King” – will begin in February with the DIRTcar Nationals in Florida.

Going into 2014, Kinser has collected a staggering 576 A-Feature victories in his 35-year WoO career. He won his first all the way back in 1978 at the famed Eldora Speedway en route to winning the series’ inaugural championship that season.

Since then, he’s become a legend in the world of sprint car racing and stands as its equivalent to the likes of Mario Andretti, Ayrton Senna, and Richard Petty. Now, he’s looking ahead to one final chance at making more history.

“Racing with the Outlaws has been my life for almost 40 years,” Kinser said in a statement. “It’s all I’ve known. My family has been around it. I’ve had the pleasure of running up and down the road racing all across this incredible country, and even in Canada, Mexico and Australia with this series. I knew it wasn’t going to last forever.

“I feel like we have a great team here capable of winning a lot of races and challenging for the championship this year.”

Kinser has also branched out into other forms of motorsport during his remarkable career. He appeared multiple times in the now-defunct International Race of Champions, with a career-best finish of sixth in the 1994 championship (a year that included a win at Talladega Superspeedway). Kinser also ran a handful of Sprint Cup events in 1995 and competed in the 1997 Indianapolis 500, where he finished 14th.

With Kinser set to embark on one last go-round, his team owner paid tribute.

“I never missed an Outlaw show in the area when I was growing up,” said Stewart. “We waited for those nights like they were holidays. It was incredible watching Steve race with Sammy [Swindell] and Doug [Wolfgang]. He was our guy, being from Indiana, and when he won, it gave us all something to brag about. And he won a lot.

“A few years ago, when we had the chance to get him to drive for TSR, it was like a dream come true. When we got him on board, my goal was for him to drive for us for the remainder of his career. I’m really excited for him to go out and have a great season. He’s the best ever and I couldn’t be more proud.”

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.