Jamie McMurray tops Sprint Cup speed charts in Happy Hour at Las Vegas

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Jamie McMurray was the fastest driver in Saturday’s final practice for Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

McMurray’s best lap was his first of the final session, covering the progressively-banked 1.5-mile surface at 186.942 mph.

A close second was Daytona 500 pole sitter Austin Dillon at 186.896 mph.

Third through fifth were Clint Bowyer (186.851), Kasey Kahne (186.793) and Kevin Harvick (186.458).

Sprint Cup points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. was ninth-fastest at 185.893 mph.

Sunday’s pole sitter, Joey Logano, was 15th-fastest at 185.918 mph.

Danica Patrick, who was sixth-fastest in the morning practice session, fell off the pace in the one-hour afternoon stanza at 32nd-fastest.

With less than four minutes to go, the motor in Parker Kligerman’s let go, spilling oil and fluid on the track, almost causing Greg Biffle to wreck. It was yet a continuation of the frustration that Kligerman has experienced in his first full Sprint Cup season. Kligerman is the only driver in the series who has recorded DNF’s in the first two races at Daytona and Phoenix.

Here’s the speeds of Saturday’s final Sprint Cup practice:

1 Jamie McMurray 186.942

2 Austin Dillon 186.896

3 Clint Bowyer 186.851

4 Kasey Kahne 186.793

5 Kevin Harvick 186.458

 

6 Kyle Larson 186.419

7 Jimmie Johnson 186.233

8 Brian Vickers 186.047

9 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 185.893

10 Casey Mears 185.810

 

11 Ryan Newman 185.567

12 Brad Keselowski 185.484

13 Aric Almirola 185.440

14 Trevor Bayne 185.312

15 Joey Logano 185.918

 

16 Denny Hamlin 185.147

17 Martin Truex Jr. 185.122

18 Kurt Busch 185.077

19 Matt Kenseth 184.919

20 Carl Edwards 184.735

 

21 Tony Stewart 184.559

22 Marcos Ambrose 184.521

23 Jeff Gordon 184.451

24 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

25 Kyle Busch 184.168

 

26 Paul Menard 184.162

27 Alex Bowman 183.580

28 AJ Allmendinger 182.814

29 Jeff Burton 182.580

30 David Gilliland 182.377

 

31 Greg Biffle 182.359

32 Danica Patrick 181.830

33 Reed Sorenson 181.257

34 Michael McDowell 181.208

35 David Ragan 181.099

 

36 Justin Allgaier 181.080

37 Josh Wise 180.717

38 Parker Kligerman 179.557

39 Ryan Truex 179.97

40 Michael Annett 179.390

 

41 Travis Kvapil 179.146

42 Timmy Hill 178.968

43 Cole Whitt 175.718

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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.