IndyCar: Bid to tie/break record for most wins by different drivers in season slipping away

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After tying the mark last season, the chances of again tying or breaking the Verizon IndyCar Series record for wins by the most different number of drivers in a single season (11) are quickly evaporating.

Ten races have already been contested, with Saturday’s MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., marking the 11th race of the 16-race season.

So far, there have been seven different winners in 2015.

In the first 10 IndyCar races, there have been three drivers who have won twice: Juan Pablo Montoya (St. Petersburg, Indianapolis 500), Scott Dixon (Long Beach, Texas) and Josef Newgarden (Birmingham, Toronto).

Four other drivers have single race wins between them: James Hinchcliffe (New Orleans), Will Power (Grand Prix of Indianapolis), Carlos Munoz (Belle Isle-1) and Sebastien Bourdais (Belle Isle-2).

In 2014, there were a record-tying 11 different race winners.

With six races remaining on the 16-race IndyCar schedule, it’s going to be tough to see four additional drivers that have been winless thus far this season to step forward and tie that mark.

And given that this is only the third oval race this season – with three more still to go – Dixon and Montoya appear to be the early favorites for Saturday afternoon’s event in SoCal.

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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.