Kanaan leads IndyCar final practice at Iowa

Photo: IndyCar
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NEWTON, Iowa – Tony Kanaan once again paced practice for Sunday’s Iowa Corn 300 (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN) in the No. 10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, albeit at a reduced pace in race trim and in hotter temperatures.

Kanaan, who lapped the 0.894-mile oval in 17.2197 seconds in first practice, paced the second and final practice as the only driver in the 17-second bracket this evening – 17.9695 seconds.

So speed-wise, that means the drop has gone from 186.902 mph average speed in the morning to 179.103 mph in the afternoon. Essentially one tenth equals one mph.

The front row starters, second starting Josef Newgarden and polesitter Simon Pagenaud, were second and third in this session ahead of Helio Castroneves and James Hinchcliffe. Mikhail Aleshin, the highest starting Honda on the grid in ninth, was sixth in practice.

Max Chilton, who starts fourth, struggled in race trim and was 18th, a spot ahead of Scott Dixon.

Other than a debris caution there were no incidents in the 30-minute session.

Times are below:

IowaFp2

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.