Power’s IndyCar title hopes dented after Kimball clash at WGI (VIDEO)

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Will Power’s hopes of picking up a second Verizon IndyCar Series title in 2016 took a major hit after a clash with Charlie Kimball saw him crash out of Sunday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen presented by Hitachi.

After missing the first race of the season through illness, Power has spent 2016 trying to claw his way back into title contention – something he achieved with a string of podiums and wins through the middle part of the year.

Power entered Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen trailing Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud by 28 points at the top of the drivers’ championship, and had a golden opportunity to cut the gap after qualifying second on Saturday.

Power retained P2 through the early part of the race ahead of Pagenaud, who ran as high as third before both dropped down the pack after being forced to pit under a full course yellow.

While Pagenaud was able to move ahead, Power struggled for pace in the middle of the pack, leading to a clash with Charlie Kimball.

As Kimball got a run on Power and tried to move to the outside at the esses, the Australian drifted across, causing the two to collide and sending the Penske no. 12 car into the wall.

Power’s race was ended on the spot, meaning he will be classified in 20th position and will take just 10 points home from Watkins Glen. Pagenaud, meanwhile, has worked his way into the top 10, meaning his championship lead will swell considerably ahead of the double points finale at Sonoma on September 18.

UPDATE – POWER NOT CLEARED DUE TO CONCUSSION-LIKE SYMPTOMS

INDYCAR officials confirmed soon after the clash that Power has been checked and released but not cleared owing to concussion-like symptoms.

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.