UPDATED: Will NHRA Funny Car legend John Force reveal new sponsor and manufacturer today?

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UPDATED: On a day when it was believed 16-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force might announce a new sponsor and car manufacturer for 2015, Force instead stunned the drag racing world Wednesday afternoon when he announced that he asked for and accepted the resignation of crew chief Jimmy Prock.

Prock’s resignation is effective immediately, leaving Force scrambling to find someone to tune his Funny Car for the final two races of the season as Force attempts to extend his record number of Funny Car titles to 17.

For more about today’s news, read the following:

MORE: NHRA stunner: Jimmy Prock out as John Force’s crew chief

ORIGINAL STORY:

Sixteen-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force is expected to make a major announcement concerning John Force Racing later Wednesday afternoon.

Force will appear on an NHRA media teleconference at 2:30 pm ET.

Will Force finally reveal what his fans have waited all season long for, namely, who his new primary sponsor will be in 2015, as well as what manufacturer and model of car he’ll drive next season as well?

Force has been with Castrol Oil for more than two decades, and with Ford since 1998. Both companies announced during the last offseason that this would be their final year with Force, electing to take their support into other realms of motorsports in 2015.

Rumors have been all over the place in recent weeks on what kind of car Force will drive.

Some have Force campaigning a Dodge Challenger Hellcat in 2015. More recently, there’s been chatter that he might drive a Chevrolet or even a Toyota like several of his top rivals such as Alexis DeJoria, Ron Cappas and Cruz Pedregon.

As for a new sponsor, there’s been very little indications as to what that may be.

Force announced recently that he would make a major announcement on Nov. 1 during the NHRA race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We’re wondering if today’s announcement means the schedule has been pushed up.

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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.