NASCAR: Top drivers of 2014 – No. 27 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

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Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Season finish: 27th

2014 Season Stats: 0 Wins, 1 Top-5, 5 Top-10s, 0 Poles.

What went right: After opening the year with a Top-10 at the Daytona 500, Stenhouse was part of a 1-2 finish for Roush Fenway Racing (and a 1-2-3 podium sweep for Ford) just a few weeks later at Bristol as he chased teammate Carl Edwards to the checkered flag. Other solid results came at Talladega (10th in the spring), New Hampshire (ninth in the summer), and in the return race at Bristol in August (sixth).

What went wrong: With Roush Fenway Racing continuing its decline, Stenhouse’s season was largely a crummy one. Plagued by mediocre performance, he tumbled from 19th in the standings in 2013 all the way down to 27th in 2014 – and he didn’t even lead a single lap. His lowest point had to be failing to make the Talladega Chase race after one of the most bizarre qualifying sessions in NASCAR history.

2015 Prospectus: After picking up back-to-back NASCAR XFINITY Series titles in 2011 and 2012, Stenhouse’s first two years in the Cup Series have been so-so at best. Roush Fenway’s overall woes have not helped him but if the team is able to put better cars on the track in 2015, Stenhouse is gonna have to make sure he capitalizes on that.

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.