Kurt Busch won’t soon forget Clint Bowyer’s race-ruining shove at Darlington (VIDEO)

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If the saying about NASCAR drivers having memories like elephants really is true, Kurt Busch won’t soon forget how Clint Bowyer ruined his night in Saturday’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Busch was working on a potential top-10 finish when he was spun by Bowyer on Lap 369 in the first of two attempts at a green-white-checker finish.

Bowyer sent Busch, who was running ninth at the time and lost momentum coming off the corner, flying and into the inside retaining wall, destroying both Busch’s Chevrolet and his Top-10 finish hopes.

An angry Busch climbed from his race car and walked up the track in a menacing fashion to confront Bowyer as he went by on the next lap, appeared to scream at Bowyer and then walked back towards the ambulance to have himself checked out at the infield care center.

“That was a terrible way to end what could have been a decent night,” Busch said. “We struggled at times to get the balance of the Haas Automation Chevrolet right, but we kind of found our spot just past the halfway point and made slight adjustments the rest of the way.

“We called for a two-tire stop at the end hoping to gain some track position, but it seemed like everyone had the same idea. We gained a little, but the guys behind us all had four tires. I tried to hold them off the best I could, but someone (a.k.a. Bowyer) moved me out of their way and it ruined our night. I hate it for the team, but we keep learning each week and we will get better.”

Busch ultimately wound up 31st, while Bowyer, whose Toyota did not sustain any damage in the incident, finished 12th.

Don’t expect Busch to forget Saturday night’s incident so easily, especially with one of Bowyer’s better tracks — Richmond — coming up in two weeks. If Richmond International Raceway officials don’t have fireworks planned, they may get an impromptu show at no extra cost.

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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.