James Hinchcliffe fastest in second practice at Barber

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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James Hinchcliffe was the fastest driver in the second practice session for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with a time of 1 minute, 8.9994 seconds, making Hinchcliffe the fastest driver so far this weekend.

The Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver led COTA winner Colton Herta by 0.0090 seconds, with Santino Ferrucci (1 minute, 9.0461 seconds) finishing third.

After a relatively eventful first practice earlier in the day, Friday afternoon’s second practice session was more tame, but still saw drivers veer off-course.

The caution flag came out with 17 minutes to go when Ferrucci went off-course and into a tire barrier in turn 16, and both Zach Veach and Colton Herta found themselves off-course as well.

Sebastien Bourdais (1 minute, 9.0968 seconds), Alexander Rossi (1 minute, 9.1140 seconds) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (1 minute, 9.1545 seconds) rounded out the top six, all in Hondas. Spencer Pigot’s No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing machine was the fastest Chevrolet, finishing the session seventh fastest (1 minute, 9.2055 seconds).

Jack Harvey and Ben Hanley both posted 18 laps, which was the most of all 24 competitors.

With the second practice complete, the stars and cars of the NTT IndyCar Series will return to action tomorrow, with the third and final practice session starting at 11:45 am E.T. and qualifications at 4:00 pm E.T. Both can be viewed on NBC Sports Gold, and qualifying will air live on NBCSN.

Full Practice 2 results

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Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
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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.