Ken Roczen hopes to know soon if Supercross is restarting May 31

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After taking a break to heal at the outset of the two-month layoff, Supercross star rider Ken Roczen said Wednesday he is preparing for the possibility of racing in the next three weeks.

On “Lunch Talk Live” with Mike Tirico (click on the video above), Roczen said the 2020 season could resume by the end of the month after it was postponed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. According to reports last month, Supercross is mulling the last seven rounds of the season at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

“There was a thing where we were maybe going to start racing May 15,” Roczen told Tirico. “Obviously, that fell through. Right now, they are thinking about May 31. I don’t really know if that’s going to happen yet.

“We’re hopefully going to know within today or tomorrow. I’ve been putting the hammer down just trying to focus on my Supercross riding and put in a lot of work, so I’m definitely ready whenever we’re ready to go.”

The Supercross Twitter account hinted Wednesday night that the schedule could be coming Thursday.

The Monster Energy AMA Supercross season has been on hold since the Round 10 race March 7 at Daytona International Speedway, where Eli Tomac beat Roczen to take the points lead.

Roczen, who has three victories this season, said he initially spent time resting and recovering after the midpoint of the grueling season.

“Obviously when the whole coronavirus thing started, we were all in the unknown and kind of still are in the unknown of when we’re continue racing,” he told Tirico. “But it looked like (the return) was going to be quite far out.

“I took some time off and actually helped my body because no matter what, when we start back up racing, and they’re still trying to get all the races in, there’s going to be a lot of racing all in a row. And not to mention going into 2021 series, there’s going to be a lot of back to back racing with very little time off, so I decided to take some time off.

Supercross and AMA Lucas Oil Motocross executives have been working together to align their schedules so that riders can compete in both series without overlap. The start of the outdoor national season has been pushed to late June.

Roczen finished second at Daytona and trails by three points with seven events remaining. He told NBCSports.com in late March that he remains heavily motivated to win his first Supercross championship despite the layoff.

IndyCar: Tony Kanaan’s ‘Last Lap’ begins at Texas Motor Speedway

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The streak lives for Tony Kanaan. At least for one more race.

With Kanaan running only ovals during his farewell IndyCar season in 2020 – which has been dubbed the “Last Lap” – his record streak of 317 consecutive Indy-car starts was to end with the season opener March 15 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Fate had other plans. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forced the postponement of St. Pete (now the season finale in October) amid the shutdown of American sports.

IndyCar has made multiple changes to its 2020 schedule since then, and as a result, Kanaan is getting an opportunity to extend his “Ironman” streak.

The 2004 NTT IndyCar Series champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner is set for career start No. 318 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway – driving the No. 14 A.J. Foyt Racing Chevrolet alongside the team’s new full-season driver, Charlie Kimball, in the No. 4 Chevy.

“A lot of people ask me how I coped with the delay of the season,” Kanaan said Monday in an IndyCar Zoom news conference. “To be honest, I was mentally prepared already because my first real race was going to be the [Indy] 500. My mind was already set for May.

“I only really had to delay, what, a couple of weeks from what I was originally scheduled to do. For me, I think it wasn’t as hard as for the other guys that were already in St. Pete, ready to go.”

But while his mindset is locked in, Kanaan notes that he’s been out of a race car for eight months. In fact, as of Monday, he hadn’t sat in a car fitted with the new Aeroscreen cockpit protection system.

However, he is no stranger to the wild and woolly action at Texas. Ditto for his new-slash-old teammate, Kimball: The two competed together at Chip Ganassi Racing from 2014-17.

That experience is something A.J. Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt is grateful to have on his side.

“Going into this race, it’s huge,” Foyt said. “Especially with the one-day show, everything is accelerated, and going to a big track like Texas, having a guy like Charlie sit on the pole there [in 2017], knows his way around there, and obviously TK is very good there, as well.

“It’s a little bit of peace of mind for sure. Anything can happen, but the engineering group has been working really well together. We’re really hopeful we’re going to unload and get these guys some good cars out of the box. That’s the plan.”

Speaking of Kimball, the Californian is set to revive his full-time career in the sport after making just seven starts last season with Carlin.

He’s enjoyed his unexpected free time at home with his wife, Kathleen, and their two children, Hannah and newborn son Gordon, who arrived in March. But he’s grateful to get back in the car – and to accompany Tony on his ‘last lap.’

“We’re friends off the track,” Charlie said. “We train together. He’s gotten me addicted to riding a bicycle on a computer game, but also our wives are friends, and I think our families when we can get together and the kids can play, I think they’re going to interact really well. I’m excited for his daughter Nina to spend some time with our daughter.

“And the experience – I mean, he’s taught me things and I’ve learned a lot from him about how to restart on ovals and what you can and what you should and shouldn’t do and what he still does. That experience is invaluable to me to continue to learn and get better. I just feel really honored to be his teammate during his last lap, especially when we get back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500.”

The NTT IndyCar Series season begins Saturday night from Texas Motor Speedway with the Genesys 300 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The race will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.