NASCAR chairman Brian France: Iowa Speedway not in plans for future Sprint Cup race

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Fans of Iowa Speedway that have been hoping NASCAR would bring a Sprint Cup race to the 7/8-mile asphalt tri-oval are likely going to be disappointed.

During his mid-season state of the sport address at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR chairman/CEO Brian France on Saturday said that the track east of Des Moines – which was purchased last November by NASCAR’s sister company, International Speedway Corp. – is not on the radar for a Sprint Cup race.

“On Iowa, we don’t have plans for a Cup date there,” France said matter-of-factly. “We’re working with the state representatives and others to help us build racing in Iowa to the highest level that we can.

“They’re doing a great job with us, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the entire effort that the communities have made in and around Iowa.

“But they’ve got a nice full schedule with IndyCar and Nationwide, and I think that’s where that remains.”

However, while Iowa will likely keep the current series it hosts now, France did say that NASCAR officials are looking at perhaps more international racing – although nothing is on the immediate horizon.

“Internationally, we’ve always liked when we’ve had opportunities to go to Montreal or Mexico City or even abroad for exhibition events, and when those opportunities present, we will certainly want to look at them,” France said.

But when asked if there are more international expansion plans in the works, France replied, “Not in the immediate future, but that sort of changes around, as well, as we go down the road. So we’ll have to see.”

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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.