Dale Jr. goes wheel-to-wheel with Charles Barkley in go-kart race

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Two of the most popular personalities in sports had a bit of fun on the go-kart track, as NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. went up against Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley.

Earnhardt and Barkley’s meeting came after the latter, now an NBA analyst for TNT, said that he wanted to meet Driver #88 during a recent episode of “Inside The NBA.” Earnhardt then took to Twitter to arrange a race between the two at a North Carolina go-kart track.

“The thing is, being from Alabama you automatically become a NASCAR fan, so in any sport I never root for teams, I root for people,” Barkley said to NASCAR.com about the race.

“All the jocks are really trying hard, so you pick out guys you like and that’s why I’m here today. Like I said, you root for personalities. I’m a big fan of [Earnhardt’s] and I really want to thank him for taking the time.”

The two competed in a five-lap run and a three-lap run, with Earnhardt handicapped in each of them by running an additional lap against the former Philadelphia 76er/Phoenix Sun/Houston Rocket.

Bleacher Report has the full video of the event.

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.