Harvick seeking fourth Sprint Unlimited win in six years in SHR debut

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Kevin Harvick has three prior Sprint Unlimited wins, all in the last five years (2009, 2010, 2013), and has a chance for his fourth in six seasons in his Stewart-Haas Racing debut.

There’s nothing to be gained points-wise from the race, but the learning process of how the year’s Daytona 500 will work and in Harvick’s case, his official first race with his new team will provide ample motivation to succeed this Saturday night.

“The transition has gone really well,” Harvick said in the team’s advance release. “You know, I think we were fortunate to recruit (crew chief) Rodney Childers very early in the process – not early, but halfway through the year, and his previous team decided to let him go, and he was able to start early. He was able to spend a lot of time recruiting team members. But the transition has gone very well.”

All four of the Stewart-Haas Chevrolets will be in action this Saturday, and all have story lines associated with them. Harvick and Kurt Busch make their team debuts, team co-owner Tony Stewart returns to the track for the first time since his accident last fall, and Danica Patrick… is Danica Patrick. Of course her name’s been back in the headlines with Richard Petty’s comments made over the weekend in Toronto.

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.