Power leads again in Indy GP third practice

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INDIANAPOLIS – Team Penske returned to the top of the timesheets in third practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, with Will Power leading a top three sweep by the team’s drivers.

Power, in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, led on a cool morning with temperatures of only 62 degrees ambient and 86 on track.

His best time was 1:09.3189 around the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Juan Pablo Montoya was second in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet at 1:09.3314 and Simon Pagenaud third in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet at 1:09.4248. Oddly, Helio Castroneves was 18th in the No. 3 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

Scott Dixon was fourth in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet ahead of four Hondas, with Takuma Sato, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Graham Rahal and Carlos Munoz all fifth through eighth.

The top 23 of 25 drivers were separated by just 0.9697 of a second.

A number of drivers spun during the session but there was still no red flag interruptions. Track conditions are likely going to be different this afternoon for qualifying, from 3 to 4:15 p.m. ET and local time.

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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.