Iowa confirms IndyCar on same July weekend in 2018

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As it has been in both 2016 and 2017, the Iowa Speedway date for the Verizon IndyCar Series has been confirmed on the same weekend in mid-July – thus adding another date to the 2018 IndyCar calendar before the series releases the schedule in full. Iowa Speedway released its 2018 calendar today.

IndyCar’s Iowa Corn 300 will run Sunday afternoon, July 8, with the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race earlier in the day.

Start times were not released by the track and are usually released by IndyCar either in its full schedule release, or as part of a separate TV schedule release.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series runs Saturday night, July 7, with its 400-mile race from Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR usually runs this race on network NBC. The last two years, Kentucky Speedway has hosted the NASCAR races on Iowa’s IndyCar weekend.

That keeps IndyCar in the Sunday afternoon slot for a third consecutive year, rather than being a Saturday night race as it was in 2014 and 2015.

Noteworthy here is that the two other Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires series – Pro Mazda and USF2000 – aren’t listed by the track, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be added later. Pro Mazda scrapped a 2016 race at Iowa owing to expected lower car count while USF2000 ran its only oval race of 2017 at Iowa.

Although INDYCAR is yet to release its full schedule, many of its dates have been posted by the tracks themselves.

The lone holdup to the schedule appears to be a planned additional race in Mexico City, which INDYCAR hopes to finalize in the next couple weeks, and wants to slot in in the two-week gap between Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at the end of July and Pocono Raceway the third weekend in August.

The dates that haven’t been revealed as yet – Green Savoree Racing Promotions’ remaining two races in Toronto and Mid-Ohio, plus the Pocono, Gateway and Watkins Glen races – are expected to keep their same dates as in 2017. Pocono and Gateway were pleasant surprises from an attendance standpoint while Watkins Glen’s was disappointing by most measures.

Announced 2018 IndyCar dates so far:

  • March 11, St. Petersburg
  • April 7, Phoenix
  • April 15, Long Beach
  • April 22, Barber
  • May 12, INDYCAR Grand Prix
  • May 27, Indianapolis 500
  • June 2-3, Detroit doubleheader
  • June 9, Texas
  • June 24, Road America
  • July 8, Iowa
  • Sept. 16, Sonoma

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.