Santino Ferrucci returns to Dale Coyne Racing, takes vacant No. 18 seat

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Santino Ferrucci will return to Dale Coyne Racing this season, and now will pilot the Vasser-Sulivan entry previously occupied by Sebastien Bourdais.

The Connecticut native will be promoted to the No. 18 Sealmaster Honda this year, as IndyCar rookie Alex Palou will take over driving duties in the team’s No. 19 entry.

“I’m extremely honored that Dale, Jimmy [Vasser], and Sulli [James Sullivan] have put their faith in me to carry this program forward,” Ferrucci said. “The SealMaster car has had a lot of success in the past two seasons. I’m eager to move into the No. 18 car and get spring training started.”

Ferrucci made his IndyCar debut for Coyne in 2018. He competed in his first full-time season with the team last year, where he had a trio of fourth-place finishes and also won “Rookie of the Year” honors in his maiden Indy 500.

“We’re very happy to have Santino back with us for the 2020 season,” said Dale Coyne. “He had a very good rookie season and he was absolutely stellar on the ovals. We look forward to him building on that this year.

“I think he surprised a lot of people in 2019 and he has the potential to do even better in his sophomore year as he now moves to the No. 18 car.”

With Ferrucci and Palou both 21 and 22-years-old, respectively, Coyne’s 2020 lineup will feature two of the many young IndyCar stars to have joined the series within the past few years.

The duo will join Arrow McLaren’s Oliver Askew and Pato O’Ward, Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay, and Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta as 2020 IndyCar rookies or sophomores under the age of 25.

“This new crop of young fast IndyCar racers is no joke, and we’re energized to have Ferrucci leading our charge in the SealMaster machine,” said James Sullivan. “I expect you’ll see some big moments from us in 2020.”

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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.