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Formula Xtreme Road America preview

Points leader Zemke ready for high-speed Road America Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme series PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 4, 2003) -- Jake Zemke loves speed and that puts Road America high on the Erion Honda rider's list of favorite tracks. On...

Points leader Zemke ready for high-speed Road America
Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme series

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 4, 2003) -- Jake Zemke loves speed and that puts Road America high on the Erion Honda rider's list of favorite tracks. On Saturday, June 7, Zemke hopes the long straights and sweeping corners of the four-mile Road America course will play into his strengths as the Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series hits the mid-way point in the 10-race season.

Consistency has been the hallmark of Zemke's racing career and this season is no different. A string of podium finishes in the first half of the season has earned the Paso Robles, California, resident the Formula Xtreme Series lead. Last year he tied Jason Pridmore in the final series standings, but lost the title in a tiebreaker -- Pridmore won more races. Zemke is going ahead with the same formula this season and hopes his steadiness pays off this time around. He looks forward to the Road America race, where his best finish came in 2000 when he finished third.

"It the kind track were you can push the bike and slide both ends," said Zemke, who is trying to get Honda back atop the podium at Road America for the first time since the 2000 season. "The high speeds really suit my style so we're looking for another good result there. Getting on the podium every weekend is what it takes to win championships."

Young Yoshimura Suzuki rider Ben Spies also eagerly awaits Road America. The 18-year-old Texan led the championship after dominating the first two rounds. He lost the points lead after a crash at Road Atlanta last month. He's hoping the power of his factory Suzuki will be the key to victory Saturday. Spies finished fourth in this race last year.

2001 Road America winner Damon Buckmaster comes into this year's race ranked third. The Aussie veteran is coming off a victory last week at Pikes Peak International Raceway on his Graves Yamaha and will be keen to start a winning streak of his own. "Bucky" could take sole possession of third place on the all-time AMA Formula Xtreme wins list with a victory at Road America.

Defending race winner and series champ, Jason Pridmore is still searching for the combination that brought him the 2002 title. The No. 1 Attack Suzuki rider is all the way down in 12th in the series standings after a poor start to this year's campaign, but he's almost certain to crack the top-10 after this week's race.

Other Series News:

GENUINE SUZUKI ACCESSORIES SUPERSTOCK SERIES

It doesn't get much closer on the championship trail than the hotly contested Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock Series. Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden leads the series by a single point over Hooters Suzuki rider Vincent Haskovec. Corona Suzuki's Adam Fergusson is right there as well, only two points out of the series lead. The scouting report on Road America's Superstock race reads that the more powerful Suzuki GSX-R750 should have an advantage over the Kawasaki ZX636 and Yamaha R6. But that's what they said about Daytona as well and Hayden earned a well-deserved win in the season opener.

One fact to consider is that Suzuki is enjoying a 10-year winning streak in the Superstock race at Road America. Jason DiSalvo won the race last year on a Suzuki. He'll be in the field again this year, but this time on a factory Yamaha R6. Kawasaki's Tony Meiring got a breakthrough win in the series last week in Colorado and he'll be another rider to watch at Road America.

MBNA 250 GRAND PRIX SERIES

Rich Oliver will be better than halfway home to a perfect season if he wins the MBNA 250 Grand Prix Series at Road America. Oliver has won five of five coming into round six of the 11-race series on his Team Oliver Yamaha. He's earned eight victories at Road America dating back to 1988. The Northern California native is looking to win back the MBNA 250 Grand Prix title he last held in 1997. Oliver is a stunning 60-points ahead of former teammate Chuck Sorensen after five rounds, meaning it would take major problems in the second half of the season to keep Oliver away from his fifth AMA 250 Grand Prix title. Sorensen is the defending Road America race winner.

For ticket information call (800) 365-RACE or visit www.roadamerica.com. The Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series race from Elkhart Lake will broadcast on Speed Channel, Tuesday, June 24 at 1 p.m. EST.

For immediate post-race results, points, live transponder scoring, in-depth series and rider information, regular columnists and much more, log onto www.USSuperbike.com, the official website of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship.

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Series AMA
Drivers Tommy Hayden , Tony Meiring , Adam Fergusson , Damon Buckmaster , Jake Zemke , Ben Spies , Vincent Haskovec , Jason Pridmore