NASCAR AMERICA: Rico Abreu prepares for steep learning curve (VIDEO)

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Fresh off a victory last weekend in the Chili Bowl Nationals, Rico Abreu will now move into stock car racing as a full-time driver in the K&N Pro Series East this season.

But the reigning USAC National Midget Series Champion will also continue to compete in sprint car events across the country. NASCAR on NBC’s Nate Ryan quoted him today in a teleconference as saying he was more than capable of running 110-120 events altogether in 2015.

Thus, Abreu will have to go back and forth between his more familiar driving style with sprint cars and the new one he’ll have to develop in a much heavier stock car.

Additionally, observers within the NASCAR community will surely keep close tabs on Abreu’s progress following the phenomenal success of another star that rose from the dirt-track ranks – reigning Sprint Cup rookie of the year Kyle Larson.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA, analysts Jeff Burton and Frank Stoddard discussed whether Larson and Abreu have helped create a trend that can continue further. They also talked about the adjustments Abreu should expect to make in the stock cars.

You can check out their 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.