Emerging NASCAR talent Kenzie Ruston is pairing with another of NASCAR’s potential future stars, Ben Kennedy, at Kennedy’s K&N Pro Series East team in 2014.
Ruston, 22, a member of NASCAR’s “NASCAR Next” initiative for finding and discovering young drivers, made her debut in the series this past season with the Turner Scott Motorsports team. She finished sixth in the series championship with four top-five finishes, with a best finish of third place at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway in April.
“Jumping into the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East last year was a great experience and I really learned a lot in my first year,” said Ruston, via NASCAR.com. “Having competed against Ben and his team, I’ve seen firsthand the dedication and level of excellence they bring to the track.”
Kennedy, 21, is moving into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series full-time in 2014 with TSM, but the Ruston signing allows the Ben Kennedy Racing squad to remain in its Daytona Beach shop and keep competing in K&N. Kennedy is the great grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr.
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.