Danica Patrick says Indy 500 plans complete

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Although she stopped short of announcing a team with which she’ll compete during the month of May, Danica Patrick on Monday asserted that her plans to run the Indianapolis 500, scheduled to be the final race of her career, are set.

“No, I just needed to make sure (the deal) was done. The rest I don’t really care about,” Patrick quipped when asked about specific details in a story posted on IndyCar’s website.

With GoDaddy as a sponsor for her venture, Patrick’s only scheduled races for 2018 are this weekend’s Daytona 500, where she will be competing with Premium Motorsports, and the Indy 500.

Patrick later added that she and her team will have something significant planned for the Indy 500 announcement.

“Obviously, the start of this (NASCAR) season didn’t happen any different than last season did, where I showed up and I hadn’t been in the car since Homestead,” she said. “It’s no different than that. But Indy is obviously totally different. We’ll do something a little more substantial for the announcement and the unveil.”

Patrick finished by saying that finishing off her career with the Indy 500 holds a great amount of personal significance to her.

“There’s nothing against Daytona, but just from being a young little girl, I had always wanted to win the Indy 500,” Patrick explained. “It’s not to say that Daytona is not an enormous deal. But I have to go with what feels like the most important in my heart and I came from open-wheel racing, I wanted to win the Indy 500 from being a go-kart driver when I was a kid and came close a few times. It’s kind of what started it all for me, so there’s just a lot more history there.”

Possible landing spots for Patrick include Ed Carpenter Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, all of whom traditionally field extra entries beyond their full-season efforts for the Indy 500. Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, which fielded a one-off entry for Sage Karam last year, could also be in play.

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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.