Brad Keselowski reflects on his IndyCar test debut in blog post

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Brad Keselowski used last night’s rain delay in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Daytona International Speedway to reflect on his Verizon IndyCar Series test debut in a new blog post out late Thursday night.

Keselowski explained why the test was so secretive, and how there were a couple misconceptions he needed to address.

He only got to test after going through the necessary approval process: from Penske Racing president Tim Cindric, from girlfriend Paige White, and from his mom.

And then he had to explain why the test was kept under wraps.

“We didn’t tell any media before hand, which prevented it from being a bigger story than it could have been,” he wrote. “But there was potential bad weather in the forecast, and the last thing we wanted to do was announce that we were doing it, and then not do it. 

“So we waited, and it actually rained a lot that day. We didn’t get onto the track until very late, and there was a good chance we were going to have to cancel altogether. (So from that perspective, it was good we didn’t announce it.)

“Once we did get going, I learned a lot. That was really special.”

Keselowski then addressed some of the differences he felt he needed to understand.

“In the closed cockpit, stock car world, we make fun of that because as a driver, we get into the car, and put our own seatbelts on. But after getting in an IndyCar for the first time, I realized why they do that. The cockpit is literally so small that you cannot move to put your own seatbelts on. That kind of hit of me as a, “Wow, that’s a way different feeling.”

“In the same way, NASCAR drivers make fun of IndyCar drivers because of the design of their firesuits. The firesuit is described as a “European design,” but essentially, they look like skinny jeans. Again, that’s because of the cockpit being such a tight space. It keeps the firesuit from being a problem. 

“Another thing that’s really different is the clutch. Most people think clutch, and they think of using your foot. Not in Indy car. The clutch is all done by hand. You use your fingers to change gears. That was hard to get a feel for as well.”

He also thanked the usual driver of the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, Simon Pagenaud, for the opportunity to sample his car and the tutelage.

The full blog post is worth a read on its own.

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.