NASCAR AMERICA: Tony Stewart still shaken following fatal crash (VIDEO)

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Tony Stewart believed that he did nothing wrong on Aug. 9, when he was involved in a fatal sprint car accident at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park that took the life of 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr.

Even so, Stewart was worried about the possibility that he would face criminal charges. That worry only went away when a New York state grand jury declined to indict him last week.

“Anytime you’re facing something like that and your fate is in someone else’s hands, it’s natural to be fearful,” Stewart said today in a press conference at Stewart-Haas Racing headquarters in North Carolina.

“But all along I knew what the facts are. I knew what had happened, and I know what happened. I think through the process of the sheriff’s department and the district attorney and going to a 23-person grand injury, all the facts were presented and their decision spoke. It was what I knew.”

Any feeling of alleviation quickly vanished. Stewart may have been exonerated, but Ward was still gone.

“I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a piece of relief, but that was very short lived in my heart,” Stewart said. “Because as quickly as it was relief in my heart, it was at the same time it went right back to the fact that we lost Kevin.

“We lost a young driver that had a lot of talent.”

You can check out more of Stewart’s thoughts in the clip above.

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.