Kyle Larson celebrates 28th birthday by continuing All Star winning streak

Kyle Larson All Star Circuit
Paul Arch/ASCOC
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Kyle Larson celebrated his 28th birthday Friday night by remaining unbeaten in his past seven starts in the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions.

Larson led the final 18 laps at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, for his 12th victory in 18 starts with the 410 winged sprint car series owned by Tony Stewart. He has won the past six races in the series and the last seven he’s entered.

Larson led the final 18 laps after taking first from pole-sitter Cory Eliason to extend a streak of perfection in the series for Paul Silver’s No. 57 that has lasted more than three weeks.

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“I’m really looking forward the rest of the weekend,” said Larson, who will go for his third win in as many nights in the series Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa.

Larson already has multiple victories at Knoxville this season with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series.

The Elk Grove, California, driver’s winning streak in the All Star Circuit began July 10 at Portsmouth Raceway Park in Ohio. Larson (who skipped the series’ July 11 race) also has victories at Sharon Speedway (July 12), Williams Grove Speedway (July 17), Port Royal Speedway (July 18-19), Plymouth Dirt Track (July 30) and 34 Raceway (July 31).

Since the beginning of June, Larson has 22 victories in 36 starts with a worst finish of sixth while barnstorming through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa and several other states to race in various sprint car series and some USAC midget events.

Larson earned $26,000 for his All Star Circuit of Champions victory Thursday at Plymouth Dirt Track in Wisconsin.

Kyle Larson All Star Circuit
Kyle Larson earned $26,000 for his victory in the 35-lap Rayce Rudeen Foundation Race in Plymouth, Wisconsin (Paul Arch/All Star Circuit of Champions).

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.