Pruett leads TUDOR polesitters at COTA


AUSTIN, Texas – Scott Pruett captured his first pole position in more than a year and a half Friday afternoon at Circuit of the Americas, ahead of the second-to-last round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season. His last pole came at Long Beach, in 2014.

Pruett, driving the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Riley-Ford he’ll share with Joey Hand, clocked a 1:58.441 lap around the 3.427-mile permanent road course.

Pruett won the race overall last year, then co-driving with Memo Rojas.

Ozz Negri qualified second in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda, in a strategic gamble played by Michael Shank. Negri shares the car with John Pew and this may give them a better chance on strategy, as it is likely there will be two driver changes to give Pew the middle stint of the race and Negri a chance to both start and finish.

Other class polesitters included Chris Cumming (Prototype Challenge), Patrick Pilet (GT Le Mans) and Dion von Moltke (GT Daytona).

The two-hour, 40-minute race goes green at 11:30 a.m. CT and local time.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media

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.