Eric Phillips, all-time wins leader among Truck Series crew chiefs, going to JGR

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The all-time wins leader among crew chiefs in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history is heading for a new home.

Kyle Busch Motorsports crew chief Eric Phillips, who has earned 36 victories in the Truck Series (21 of them working with Busch himself), told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio on Monday that he’ll be going to Joe Gibbs Racing at season’s end to work in an as-of-now undefined position.

“I’m gonna be moving on, I’m gonna go to JGR at the end of the year,” Phillips said. “I can’t talk about what all’s going to take place there but I’m excited about that. Obviously, it’s a big deal to leave KBM, but I’m looking forward to what JGR brings next year.

“Excited about it and a little bothered by it, I guess. I put a lot of work and effort into KBM. There wasn’t anything here when I started so the last five years have been a lot of effort to get the company the achievements that we’ve had over the last five years.”

Phillips served as crew chief for NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman in KBM’s Nationwide Series program last year. When KBM was forced to shut that program down and focus solely on its two-team program in the Truck Series, Phillips said he was asked by Busch to help on the latter effort.

While wanting to continue on the Nationwide circuit, he ultimately decided to stay with the KBM Truck team to take care of, in his words, “unfinished business.”

He feels that has been accomplished, and with two races remaining on the 2014 Truck schedule, Phillips intends to focus on finishing his tenure with KBM strong.

“We’ve got two more races that we’d like to win – at least one more, if not two more – and get that owner’s championship locked up,” he said.

KBM’s No. 51 Toyota Tundra holds a 12-point lead in that particular title race over the No. 88 Toyota from ThorSport Racing.

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.