NASCAR won’t penalize Ryan Newman, No. 31 team for Talladega infraction

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NASCAR has announced that it will not penalize Ryan Newman and his No. 31 Richard Childress Racing team after Newman’s car was found to be too low in the rear on both sides during Sunday’s post-race inspection at Talladega.

The car was taken back to NASCAR’s research and development center in North Carolina for further review, but the sanctioning body says that damage sustained to the car during the GEICO 500 caused it to be too low.

Some observers had pondered over Newman possibly being penalized championship points for the infraction and having his Chase status impacted as a result.

A crash at Lap 102 may have been where the damage to his No. 31 Chevrolet came from. Newman was riding at the back of the field, when contact between J.J. Yeley and Aric Almirola set off the pile-up that ultimately knocked Kyle Busch out of the Chase.

Newman had to go to pit road following the melee for a check-over and new tires. He recovered for a fifth-place finish in the race to advance to the Eliminator Round of the Chase by 27 points.

Like the rest of the Eliminator 8, Newman’s points have now been reset to 4,000; he has earned the third seed to start.

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.