Supercross title contender reveals he’s been battling shingles virus

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Ken Roczen revealed in an Instagram post Friday that he has been battling a case of shingles while trying to win his first Supercross 450 championship.

Since the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series restarted its season May 31, Roczen has only one podium (a third in the first race) in four starts at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City.

In his past three starts, he has finished fifth, 10th and fifth while dropping to third in the standings, 29 points behind leader Eli Tomac with three events remaining.

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Roczen has been starting well but fading in the second half of the 20-minute events, and he said after Wednesday’s race that he was “trying to hang in there” after battling a viral flareup.

He elaborated on Instagram, disclosing he had tested positive for shingles last Sunday after battling a respiratory-type virus for much of the season. “I know everyone is sick of hearing it and so am i,” Roczen wrote. “Unfortunately those are things i can’t control. I can assure you I am doing my part to be ready and live healthy and doing all the things I can control.”

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SLC 4 was a bit better. Speed is great and i feel pretty good on the bike. 2 days is not enough time to get everything lined up again after a disaster race. As everyone knows i have been dealing with the virus for a while now and it also turned out i tested positive for shingles last Sunday. I know everyone is sick of hearing it and so am i. Unfortunately those are things i can’t control. I can assure you i am doing my part to be ready and live healthy and doing all the things i can control. Huge thank you to all my partners that have always supported me in these last few years and continue to do so 🤙🏽🦾 @honda_racing_us @redbull @foxracing @gopro @breitling @canyon_na 📸 @align.with.us

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Prior to Supercross’ 85-day layoff for the novel conronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Roczen trailed Tomac by three points through 10 of 17 rounds after winning three events.

Supercross will return to action tonight with Round 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium (7 p.m., NBCSN).

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.