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Laguna Seca: Formula Xtreme, Superstock preview

AMS FORMULA XTREME AND AMA SUPERSTOCK SEASONS COME TO A CLOSE A MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA PICKERINGTON, Ohio (September 12, 2007) -- Josh Hayes, having already clinched the 2007 Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series presented by HMR, ...

AMS FORMULA XTREME AND AMA SUPERSTOCK SEASONS COME TO A CLOSE A MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (September 12, 2007) -- Josh Hayes, having already clinched the 2007 Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series presented by HMR, comes to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this Sunday, Sept. 16, for an encore ride on his championship winning Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR.

While Hayes has already done the hard work of winning this year's championship, the Mississippi native does have something to shoot for at Laguna. If he wins, Hayes will tie the single-season win record in Formula Xtreme established by Eric Bostrom in 1998. That year Bostrom, who now rides in the Superbike class for Yamaha, won an impressive eight Formula Xtreme races en route to the '98 championship.

Hayes has won seven of the nine rounds coming into this weekend's season finale. He has no plans on slowing down in the final race.

"I've said all along, I want to win races," said Hayes. "It'll be the same approach I've had all year. We want to dominate this thing. I'm really excited about going out there and putting a stamp on this for the end of the season."

Other riders hoping to join Hayes include Steve Rapp and Aaron Gobert, both on the list of 2007 Formula Xtreme race winners. Aussies Ben Attard and Marty Craggill have stepped up big in the class late in the season. Attard kept Hayes honest at Road Atlanta in perhaps his best performance of the season, on the Attack Kawasaki. Craggill is proving that he still has plenty of speed left in his 38-year-old body. He's pushed the Boulder Motorsports Ducati to newfound heights scoring podium finishes in the last two rounds.

A number of other riders could put a final stamp on the season with a victory at Laguna. Attack Kawasaki's Rapp would love to bookend his season with a victory Sunday. He won the season opener, the Daytona 200, in March. Veteran Larry Pegram, like Craggill, is proving the Ducati a worthy competitor in the class. He's flirted with a victory a couple of times this year. And then there's young up-and-comers like Chaz Davies, of Celtic Racing Yamaha, and Martin Cardenas, of the powerful M4 EMGO Suzuki squad, who could raise their already strong stock with a memorable season-ending performance at Laguna.

While champ Hayes is flying the championship badge this weekend, newly crowned AMA Superstock presented by Dynojet champ Ben Spies will sit out the season finale in order to focus on trying to defend his AMA Superbike title.

With Spies watching from the pits, the rest of the Superstock competitors see a golden opportunity to add a national victory to their resume.

With or without Spies in the race, Jordan Suzuki's Aaron Yates promised to be a leading contender for the Laguna Superstock win. Now he'll be the odds-on favorite to win the event. He's a former Laguna Superstock winner and the only rider other than Spies to win a series race this year.

Graves Yamaha's Ben Bostrom is ranked second in the standings and has finished on the podium five times this year. The one thing Bostrom hasn't done is scored a victory. This weekend presents him with a perfect opportunity to notch his first AMA road racing win in over three years.

Roadracingworld.com Suzuki's Chris Ulrich joins Yates as the only other former Laguna Superstock winner in the field. Ulrich won the race in 2001. Known as a top-notch rain rider, Ulrich, with the right conditions, could be a factor in Sunday's race. He scored the Superstock pole at Road America earlier this year in a wet qualifying session.

The Laguna Formula Xtreme and Superstock races will air on SPEED on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 2:00 pm eastern.

The Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series presented by HMR and AMA Superstock presented by Dynojet races are part of the Corona AMA Superbike Championship Finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., on Sept. 15-16. For additional event information visit the website www.laguna-seca.com.

-credit: ama

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Series AMA
Drivers Larry Pegram , Steve Rapp , Aaron Yates , Eric Bostrom , Ben Spies , Marty Craggill , Aaron Gobert , Chaz Davies , Ben Attard , Chris Ulrich , Martin Cardenas , Ben Bostrom , Josh Hayes