Race of Champions

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Josef Newgarden team up again in Race of Champions

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The Race of Champions announced Friday that past IndyCar champions Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden will reunite as teammates for the second straight year for the January 19-20 ROC in Mexico City.

Hunter-Reay (2012 IndyCar champion and 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner)) and Newgarden (2017 IndyCar champ) are the most recent American drivers to win IndyCar championships. They will once again make up the Team USA entry in the event.

Josef Newgarden (Getty Images)

They will be joined by three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves (now racing in IMSA for Team Penske) and previously announced 2019 Harding Steinbrenner Racing IndyCar rookie and defending 2018 Indy Lights champion Pato O’Ward, who hails from Mexico.

Another Mexican native who should be a fan favorite is 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series champ Daniel Suarez.

Other drivers already announced include Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel and sports car legend Tom Kristensen.

But perhaps one of the most notable entries likely to draw more spectators to the event in-person as well as those watching on TV is FIA Formula 3 champ Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher.

The ROC will take place inside the Foro Sol amphitheater, which abuts part of the annual F1 Mexican Grand Prix course at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Getty Images)

All contestants will compete in several types of identically prepared vehicles.

The two-day event will be broken down into a team or region competition on Jan. 19.

Then all drivers will go head-to-head and on their own on Jan. 20 to determine who will be the individual ROC champion.

Hunter-Reay will be making his sixth consecutive appearance in the ROC.

“It is a spectacular event and a unique challenge to jump in and out of all the different cars as you go head-to-head with some of the best drivers in the world,” Hunter-Reay said. “So it is a tremendous honor to be invited to compete again.

“I’m proud to represent America, IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500, and I look forward to hearing the noise of the crowds in Mexico City, where the passion for motorsport is huge.”

As for Newgarden, this will be his second ROC, having competed in last year’s event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“I’m excited about it,” Newgarden said. “It’s a fun event and it will be fun having it in North America.

“Ryan and I are trying to represent America but there’s some really tough competition again this year.

“There’s a strong Mexican contingent this time around and I’m sure their fans will be really pumped to cheer them on.”

No American driver has ever won the individual title in the ROC. However, NASCAR stars Jimmie Johnson and now-retired Jeff Gordon and now-retired motorcycle racer Colin Edwards won the Nation’s Cup title in 2002.

The ROC has been held since 1988 and has visited numerous venues around the globe including Beijing’s Bird’s Nest, London’s Wembley and Olympic stadiums, Miami’s Marlins Park and Paris’ Stade de France.

While other drivers may still be added before the event, drivers confirmed thus far are:

* 2017 IndyCar champ Josef Newgarden
* 2012 IndyCar champ Ryan Hunter-Reay
* 3-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves
* 4-time F1 champ Sebastian Vettel
* 13-time F1 race winner David Coulthard
* European Formula 3 champion Mick Schumacher
* 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series champ Daniel Suarez
* 3-time Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner Memo Rojas
* 2018 Indy Lights champion Patricio O’Ward
* FIA PWRC champ Benito Guerra
* 9-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen
* 2-time World Rallycross champ Johan Kristoffersson
* 2016-17 Formula E champ Lucas di Grassi

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Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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