Carl Edwards leads final Sprint Cup practice, Keselowski up to speed, Danica 5th-fastest

0 Comments

JOLIET, Il. – Brad Keselowski can cancel the APB (All-Points Bulletin): he found the speed he’s been missing this weekend.

The 2012 Sprint Cup champ was second-fastest in the final Cup practice session Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway, covering the 1.5-mile track at 186.335 mph.

Carl Edwards was the fastest at 186.413.

Keselowski and teammate Joey Logano struggled in Friday’s practice, recording the 25th- and 28th-fastest speeds of all 43 drivers on-track.

Things didn’t improve much in Saturday morning’s practice, as Keselowski was 20th-fastest and Logano was 25th-fastest.

But that wasn’t the case for Keselowski in happy hour.

However, Logano is still mired in a quest for more speed, as he managed to record just the 18th-fastest speed in the final practice (184.451 mph).

As for the rest of the field in Saturday’s last session, Sprint Cup rookie Kyle Larson was third-fastest (185.918), followed by Jimmie Johnson (185.835).

Danica Patrick was the biggest surprise of the session, recording the fifth-fastest speed at 185.618 mph, followed by Kasey Kahne (185.312), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (185.300), Matt Kenseth (185.293), Kurt Busch (185.160) and Paul Menard (185.147).

Menard was the fastest in Saturday’s earlier practice.

Other notables in the final practice session included:

* Jeff Gordon was 12th-fastest (184.862), followed by Kevin Harvick (184.723).

* Kyle Busch was 15th-fastest (184.679).

* Several other Chase drivers struggled to get up to speed: Greg Biffle (17th, 184.489), Aric Almirola (20th, 184.388), Denny Hamlin (21st, 184.181), Ryan Newman (22nd, 184.037), A.J. Allmendinger (24th, 183.830) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (26th, (182.673).

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

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.