Bryan Clauson wins final Chili Bowl qualifier, Kasey Kahne locked in

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Bryan Clauson, the 2014 Chili Bowl champion and seven time USAC champion, started from the pole and finished there in the final qualifying feature for Saturday’s main event for the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Clauson was followed by 2006 Chili Bowl winner Tim McCreadie and Sprint Cup driver Kasey Kahne in the 25-lap A-feature. All three drivers locked themselves into the main feature.

The race was slowed by only one caution for an incident involving D.J. Natto.

NASCAR TIES: Kahne started and finished third in the A-feature after finished second in his heat race and fourth in his qualifier … NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Chad Boat won both his heat race and his qualifying races. Boat then started the A-Feature in 11th before finishing eighth.

NOTABLE: Driver Shane Cockrum was disqualified after he was caught posing as another driver after having already competed in his qualifying race.  Cockrum was found to be impersonating Alex Shanks … IndyCar crew member Anton Julian was a DNF in his heat race and finished seventh in the C-Feature … 2006 Chili Bowl winner McCreadie finished third in his heat, second in his qualifier and second in the A-Feature … Dave Darland finished second in his heat race, 10th in his qualifier, fourth in the B-Feature and then 14th in the A-Feature.

NEXT: Saturday night features the championship night and the main event of the Chili Bowl, which will include the top three finishers from all four A-Features. Winners of the four A-features were Alex Bright, NASCAR drivers Rico Abreu and Christopher Bell and Clauson.

FEATURE RACE RESULTS:

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.