Long Beach’s annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race participants named

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The 39th annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach participants were named Thursday, with 17 participants set to compete from film, television, music, sports and fashion.

The celebrity list includes, in alphabetical order:

  • Donna Feldman (model/TV host/actress)
  • Willie Gault (former NFL WR, Olympic athlete)
  • Nathan Kress (actor)
  • James Maslow (musician)
  • Steve Mason (ESPN Radio host)
  • Mark McGrath (lead singer, Sugar Ray)
  • Raul Mendez (actor)
  • Joshua Morrow (actor)
  • Robert Patrick (actor)
  • Mekhi Phifer (actor)
  • John Rzeznik (guitarist/Goo Goo Dolls frontman)

The pro list includes these five:

  • Antron Brown (NHRA veteran, Top Fuel driver)
  • Brett Davern (2014 champion)
  • Alfonso Ribeiro (two-time race winner)
  • Dara Torres (Olympic swimming legend, 2002 race winner)
  • Rutledge Wood (NBC Sports Group NASCAR/motors contributor and 2013 race winner)

The race takes place Saturday, April 18 to kick off the weekend’s racing during the Grand Prix weekend.

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.