Mat Mladin Takes Third Daytona 200 By Arai DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 6, 2004) -- Suzuki rider Mat Mladin used a three pit-stop strategy to capture the 63rd Daytona 200 By Arai on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. ...
Mat Mladin Takes Third Daytona 200 By Arai
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (March 6, 2004) -- Suzuki rider Mat Mladin used a three pit-stop strategy to capture the 63rd Daytona 200 By Arai on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
Fresh tires proved to be the difference in the 57-lap, 200-mile race as Mladin pitted three different times for rubber while Honda riders Miguel Duhamel and Jake Zemke only pitted twice.
"We knew we couldn't do it with two pit stops," Mladin said. "The lap times were going to drop off too much at the end. It was quicker for us to do another pit stop than stay out for those last few laps. That's what we decided to do."
Mladin, who also won the Daytona 200 By Arai in 2000 and 2001, joins Kenny Roberts, Dick Klamforth, Brad Andres and Roger Reiman as three-time winners of the prestigious motorcycle classic. For Suzuki, they now have four Daytona 200 By Arai victories.
Mladin's margin of victory of second place Zemke was 7.081 seconds. Zemke nipped Duhamel at the start/finish line for second place. Duhamel was bidding for a record-tying fifth Daytona 200 By Arai victory.
Heartbreak found the Bostrom brothers. Ben Bostrom, who after pitting with the lead on Lap 21, experienced rear end problems on his No. 155 Honda. Eric Bostrom's Ducati Austin experienced mechanical woes midway through the Daytona 200 By Arai.
"I might have broke something inside the clutch on the starting line," said Ben Bostrom. "When I did the start I definitely heard kind of a snap. I did a real aggressive start and eased back into it. The bike ran fine. It was wonderful out there. I thought we had this thing in the bag."
In the Pro Honda Oils Supersport, Jason DiSalvo, riding the No. 40 Yamaha, pulled off a last lap pass to win the 18-lap event.
The 20-year-old DiSalvo, who started on the pole, drafted by Tommy Hayden's No. 22 Kawasaki on the final lap coming out of Turn 4 and then put the block on Roger Lee Hayden's No. 95 Kawasaki to earn his first career AMA Supersport victory
DiSalvo put himself in perfect position exiting the chicane.
"It feels great but it would have been hard not to win out there with the bike I was on," DiSalvo said. "On the straightaway it seemed like we had a little bit more than the Kawasakis. Not enough where I thought I could lead it out of the chicane so I just stuck behind Tommy that last lap. I could tell he was kind of wanting me to go by but I just couldn't bring myself to lead it."
Rounding out the podium was Roger Lee Hayden and Tommy Hayden. Michael Barnes put on an excellent showing for a privateer posting a sixth-place finish.
In the second running of the BMW BoxerCup at Daytona, American Brian Parriott, riding the San Jose BMW, capture the win after breaking away from the rest of the field for a 2.7-second margin of victory.
Next up at Daytona International Speedway is the Porsche Rennsport Reunion II on April 23-25. Tickets and more information are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.