Richard Petty Motorsports seeks sponsorship for 26 races for Hornish

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Richard Petty Motorsports official says the team is committed to running Sam Hornish Jr. all season but seeks sponsorship for 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup races.

Co-owner Andrew Murstein will provide sponsorship for some races through his company – Medallion Bank – but Brian Moffitt, chief executive officer of RPM, says the team is looking to find other sponsors.

RPM announced Wednesday that Twisted Tea will be Hornish’s primary sponsor for the Daytona 500 and the July Daytona race. The company will be an associate sponsor the rest of the season.

Moffitt said that Aric Almirola’s No. 43 team – which made the Chase last year – is set with sponsorship from Smithfield, STP, the U.S. Air Force and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and GoBowling.com. Moffitt said the team has had talks with Smithfield about an extension. Smithfield’s contract, which goes through 2016, calls for the company to serve as primary sponsor in 29 races this year and next.

Hornish, who enters his first season with Richard Petty Motorsports, says he’s focused on racing even though sponsorship remains on his car less than a month before the season begins.

“There’s no concern on my mind on whether or not they’re going to go out and do what they said they were going to do this year,’’ Hornish said. “Hopefully, they’re bringing me in for the performance, competition side of it, but I’m also doing everything that I can help them do on the sponsorship side.’’

Despite lacking sponsorship on Hornish’s car, Moffitt said the team hired 35 people and moved back into its former shop in Mooresville, N.C. The team’s affiliation with Roush Fenway Racing continues. Roush Fenway provides Richard Petty Motorsports with chassis. The teams also have a research and development relationship, Moffitt said.

“We’re committed to continuing to grow Richard Petty Motorsports back to a dominant team and with that Andy Murstein and Richard are continuing to invest in the team,’’ Moffitt said. “We believe you need to be a two-car team to be successful in this sport.’’

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.