Al Unser Jr. wins “Indy Legends” pro-am race during IMS vintage weekend

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Two decades after winning his second Indianapolis 500, Al Unser Jr. was once again victorious today at the Brickyard.

“Little Al” and amateur partner Peter Klutt captured the Charity Indy Legends Pro-Am Race, which took place on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course and was the marquee event for the track’s inaugural Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational.

The 45-minute race had former Indy 500 drivers team up with amateurs to race vintage, 1963-1972 Chevrolet Camaros, Chevrolet Corvettes and Ford Mustangs.

Unser and Klutt drove the latter’s No. 42C 1969 Corvette (pictured above in IMS president J. Douglas Boles’ tweet) to the win ahead of former Indy Racing League mainstay Eliseo Salazar and Gary Moore in Moore’s No. 98B 1965 Mustang GT350.

Rounding out the Pro-Am podium was two-time Indy 500 starter Willy T. Ribbs and Ed Sevadjian in Sevadjian’s No. 5 1972 Corvette.

“It feels great,” Unser Jr. said in a release. “I just want to thank Tony Parella [Sportscar Vintage Racing Association President and CEO] for inviting us, and also Peter Klutt for a beautiful car. That Corvette was just gone and it handled super. It’s great to be back here at Indy.”

Said Klutt, who called the afternoon “a dream of a lifetime”: “I started the race and then the strategy was that when a yellow came out, I would come in and we’d do the change.

“It came out early and that was good; I had one of the best drivers in the world to bring her home.”

Other “500” starters that competed in today’s Pro-Am included: 1996 winner Buddy Lazier, Scott Goodyear, Dick Simon, Lyn St. James, Mark Dismore, Johnny Parsons Jr., Alex Lloyd, Pete Halsmer, Robby Unser, Rocky Moran, Jaques Lazier, Robby McGehee, Spike Gehlhausen, Billy Roe, Scott Harrington, Rick Treadway, Tom Bagley, Bob Lazier, P.J. Chesson and John Martin.

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.