#TBT: When James Hinchcliffe made a brat video at Road America (VIDEO)

Photo: IndyCar

Before James Hinchcliffe was “Hinch” and arguably one of if not the most marketable stars in the Verizon IndyCar Series, he was an up-and-coming driver in the Champ Car Atlantic series whose early YouTube escapades as the “Mayor of Hinchtown” made him something of a cult hero and urban legend.

For those who’ve followed him that long, you’ll appreciate and remember this video.

Back in 2008, the last year that Atlantic series ran at Road America – besides Hinchcliffe the field featured a number of talents like Dane Cameron, Jonathan Bomarito, Simona de Silvestro, Jonathan Summerton among others like Frankie Muniz and Nigel Mansell’s two sons – Hinchcliffe went through the paddock and introduced the famous Johnsonville bratwurst served at Road America to drivers, officials and media.

Eight years later, the video remains a cult classic and part of the reason why Hinchcliffe loves Road America so much.

Of course, he loves driving there as well, and it was fitting that when he made his comeback after his accident in practice for the Indianapolis 500, that the comeback occurred at Road America.

On this Thursday, a day before the Verizon IndyCar Series properly resumes at Road America for the KOHLER Grand Prix weekend (race airs Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN), we bring you this #TBT for when Hinch and brats came together for a legendary 2008 Internet video (video shot by IMSA PR ace Nate Siebens).

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.