Even with rain delay, Duck Commander 500 sets numerous souvenir sales marks for Texas Motor Speedway

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If you see Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage walking around with a noticeable waddle and he keeps quacking, there’s no need for concern.

While some critics questioned the wisdom of naming this past weekend’s Sprint Cup race the Duck Commander 500, Gossage is laughing at those same critics all the way to the bank.

TMS issued a media release Thursday that Duck Commander-branded merchandise sold at the track this past weekend, as well as online, set several sales records for the track.

Although actual monetary and sales amounts were not released, check out some of these numbers:

* The overall weekend, even with Sunday’s race being delayed to Monday, was one of the highest grossing race weekends in the track’s 18-year history.

* Speedway World, the standalone souvenir store located just outside turn 2, reported its best race week sales total since 2000. And, parent company Speedway Motorsports Inc. Properties enjoyed its best overall event sales total since April’s Samsung Mobile 500 in April 2009.

* A Duck Commander 500 trailer, specially designed and wrapped for this event, was located at Texas Motor Speedway’s main gate entrance and accounted for 14.6 percent of the total sales.

* Online sales were more than 900 percent higher than a typical NASCAR race weekend.

* The revenue total, although not released, was up 81 percent from last year’s April NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 doubleheader weekend.

The hottest-selling items were Duck Commander 500 camouflage caps, camo t-shirts, total print t-shirts, feather flags, legacy t-shirts, splash-down t-shirts, koozies and bandanas.

Given the record-setting numbers this past weekend, one must wonder what TMS does for an encore.

Bring back the Robertson family and Duck Commander for two more years, that’s what.

(Can we refer to the next two years as Duck Commander 2.0 and 3.0?)

The track will also continue selling Duck gear at its June 5-7 IndyCar weekend, as well as the Oct. 30-Nov. 2 Chase for the Sprint Cup weekend event.

If you missed your chance to get in on some of the merchandise, get quacking and go to www.GoSpeedwayWorld.com.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

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.