INDYCAR: Alexander Rossi wins at Road America in dominant fashion

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After finishing second in three of the last four NTT IndyCar Series races, Alexander Rossi took the lead in lap one of Sunday’s REV Group Grand Prix at Road America, and didn’t look back as he easily dominated the race to take his second victory of the season.

Rossi challenged race pole sitter Colton Herta for the lead in Turn 1 of the 14-turn Wisconsin road course, successfully passing Herta in Turn 2.

Rossi then dominated the entire 55-lap event, with no one coming close to the No. 27 NAPA Auto Parts Honda. Rossi won with a 28.4391-second margin over second place finisher Will Power.

 

“After thinking about it, this is probably the best race car I’ve ever driven,” Rossi told NBC Sports following his victory.

“Obviously you don’t want to complain too much about getting second places, because they are good results. But we knew we had the pace and I think ever since Texas when GESS Capstone came on board, we had a new partnership and we came up sort again, the motivation for this week was higher than ever.”

“We were able to execute, and huge thanks to these guys behind me,” Rossi said as he pointed to his Andretti Autosport crew, “I can’t do it without them.”

Power’s second place finish was the best of the season so far for the Team Penske driver. Power’s teammate Josef Newgarden finished third.

Newgarden, who entered the weekend with a 25 point lead over Rossi, saw his lead shrink to only seven points with Rossi’s victory, and seven races still remaining in the season, the battle for the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series is still far from over.

Graham Rahal finished fourth, in a gold and black livery similar to the Miller Genuine Draft machine his father Bobby once made famous, while Scott Dixon was fifth, an impressive feat for the Kiwi considering he dropped to the 23rd position on the first lap after making contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay and spun in Turn 5.

Dixon spent the remainder of the afternoon making his way through the field in the caution-free race.

“The Car was actually pretty good,” Dixon told NBC Sports. “The whole race, you’re just thinking ‘what could have been’ had we held that position early on.”

“We could have had a good finish. Definitely [would have been] an easy podium fight there because we caught Josef and those guys really quickly.”

Dixon’s teammate Felix Rosenqvist finished sixth in the race, while Jame Hinchcliffe, Herta, Simon Pageanud and Takuma Sato rounded out the top ten.

The NTT IndyCar Series now heads North of the border for the Honda Indy Toronto on July 14. Live race coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Click here for full race results

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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.