Dale Earnhardt Jr. appears to have finally become the championship contender that people expected him to be when he first joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2008.
Earnhardt’s victory yesterday at Pocono Raceway was his second of 2014, and in a shocking statistic, that equals his win count from 2007 – his final year with Dale Earnhardt Inc. – all the way to last year.
Today on NASCAR AMERICA, Earnhardt reacted to his big win in a Victory Lane interview with Nate Ryan:
With his two wins, Earnhardt’s assured of being in the Chase for the Sprint Cup this fall. But other drivers aren’t in that nice position he’s put himself in after 14 regular season races.
Frank Stoddard and Jeff Burton focused on those particular drivers that remain winless in a discussion of the current Chase Grid. They also talked about which of those drivers could make it to the postseason on points alone.
If you want to watch today’s episode of NASCAR AMERICA, an encore presentation will air at 12:30 a.m. ET tonight on NBCSN. For more clips, be sure to check out the show’s archive page on NBCSports.com.
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.