Munoz wins rain-shortened first race in Detroit

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DETROIT – In the first race of a doubleheader where rain is stopping the race short of its scheduled distance, bet on Colombians named Carlos who have no career wins.

Last year, it was Carlos Huertas at Houston race one. Today, it was Carlos Munoz at Detroit race one.

Neither was predicted; both are now race winners.

The crucial portion of the race came once Munoz’s Andretti Autosport teammate, Marco Andretti, and Munoz both ran longer on dry slick tires – gapping the field by roughly eight to 10 seconds per lap on the low end – which allowed them both enough time to make their stops without losing the lead.

Meanwhile most of the rest of the field pitted to switch to rain tires, and that proved detrimental from an overall time standpoint.

Munoz, who started 20th in the 23-car field, took the lead on Lap 40 after Andretti pitted for rain tires when leading.

Munoz stopped himself two laps later but retained the lead.

On Lap 46, yellow was called for lightning, followed shortly thereafter by a red flag. Drivers were ordered out of their cars and the cars covered.

The race was called just before 5:30 p.m. ET, with Munoz leading Andretti and Simon Pagenaud; it’s the first podium of the year for all three drivers.

Will Power and Scott Dixon completed the top five. Points leader Juan Pablo Montoya finished 10th, and Power should close 13 points on the day.

The race, coincidentally, nearly mirrors the end result of the time-shortened race at NOLA Motorsports Park to a T.

At NOLA, 47 laps were completed and two Hondas were on the podium from the same team. It marked the first podium of the year for race winner James Hinchcliffe, his teammate James Jakes and runner-up Helio Castroneves.

Today, there were 47 laps completed, with a Honda team having two of the top three finishers and a Team Penske driver completing the podium.

RACE RESULTS

DETROIT – Results Saturday of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans Race #1 Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.35-mile Raceway at Belle Isle Park, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (20) Carlos Munoz, Honda, 47, Running
2. (9) Marco Andretti, Honda, 47, Running
3. (5) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 47, Running
4. (1) Will Power, Chevrolet, 47, Running
5. (7) Scott Dixon, Chevrolet, 47, Running
6. (2) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 47, Running
7. (14) Jack Hawksworth, Honda, 47, Running
8. (18) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 47, Running
9. (19) Luca Filippi, Chevrolet, 47, Contact
10. (3) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 46, Running
11. (4) Takuma Sato, Honda, 46, Running
12. (10) James Jakes, Honda, 46, Running
13. (16) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 46, Running
14. (6) Sebastien Bourdais, Chevrolet, 46, Running
15. (8) Stefano Coletti, Chevrolet, 46, Running
16. (12) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 46, Running
17. (11) Tristan Vautier, Honda, 46, Running
18. (23) Gabby Chaves, Honda, 46, Running
19. (21) Conor Daly, Honda, 46, Running
20. (15) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 33, Running
21. (22) Rodolfo Gonzalez, Honda, 25, Mechanical
22. (17) Charlie Kimball, Chevrolet, 13, Contact
23. (13) Graham Rahal, Honda, 5, Contact

Race Statistics
Winner’s average speed: 75.510 mph
Time of Race: 1:27:45.7906
Margin of victory: Under caution
Cautions: 6 for 18 laps
Lead changes: 5 among 4 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Power 1-2
Sato 3-14
Andretti 15 -33
Power 34 – 35
Andretti 36 – 39
Munoz 40 – 47

Verizon IndyCar Series point standings: Montoya 292, Power 281, Dixon 241, Castroneves 234, Rahal 211, Newgarden 197, Andretti 194, Pagenaud 177, Bourdais 177, Munoz 173.

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.