IndyCar: Quite a ride for Plowman, Montagny in one-off races

1 Comment

There’s always something fun about seeing the one-off entries that appear at Verizon IndyCar Series races over the course of the season, and Saturday’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis was no different.

Suffice to say the days for Martin Plowman in the No. 41 Alfe Heat Treating Honda for A.J. Foyt Racing and Franck Montagny in the No. 26 Suretone Honda for Andretti Autosport, though, were probably more than they bargained for.

Montagny’s race started decently enough when he rose from 21st on the grid to 10th within the first 10 laps, but it was a bit of a red herring. The Frenchman avoided the start line crash but then gained further positions on the Lap 9 restart, a restart he was deemed to have jumped by INDYCAR and thus received a drive-through penalty.

Plowman ran methodically through the early stages of the race, but on Lap 48 their paths crossed. The Englishman lost control trying to pass Marco Andretti at Turn 7, ran through the inside apex of the car and crashed into and over the rear wing and engine cowling of coincidentally, Andretti’s teammate Montagny.

Plowman took to Twitter to apologize for the moment and explain the rest of his race.

The nice thing was, Plowman’s day wasn’t over after the shunt. The car, in its throwback Foyt “Coyote Orange,” did its best “Transformers” imitation and restarted, damage-free, and Plowman attempted to gamble on strategy. He was on pace for a potential top-10 result before a late pit stop resigned him to 18th.

The day was crazy for Plowman, as well, as debris contacted his helmet. He tweeted this picture below.

He’ll have a chance in the rebranded and re-liveried No. 41 ABC Supply Honda on Sunday; meanwhile Montagny, who enjoyed his one-off return to IndyCar, is not sure when his next race will be.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
0 Comments

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.