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Sears Point: Formula Xtreme preview

Duhamel's experience showing through in Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 26, 2004) -- Few riders in all of AMA Pro Racing have the experience of Miguel Duhamel. Twice this season the 36-year-old Las Vegas ...

Duhamel's experience showing through in Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (April 26, 2004) -- Few riders in all of AMA Pro Racing have the experience of Miguel Duhamel. Twice this season the 36-year-old Las Vegas resident has been challenged all the way to the checkered flag in the Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series and twice the 16-year AMA professional came out on top. Duhamel leads the Formula Xtreme Series as the championship rolls into Infineon Raceway, in Sonoma, Calif., as part of the Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown presented by Cycle Gear on April 30 through May 2.

Duhamel edged Honda teammate Ben Bostrom at Daytona International Speedway in the opening round of the series by a scant 0.151 seconds to take the first victory in the revamped class. He then turned around in early April and held off Erion Honda's Jake Zemke by less than a bike length at California Speedway. Duhamel hopes to make it three-for-three at Infineon Raceway.

Duhamel was all smiles after a race-long battle with Zemke at California Speedway. He predicted a lot more races like that after taking his 70th-career AMA road racing win.

"I had a great race with Jake at Fontana," Duhamel said. "I think the two of us are going to be going at it all season."

With his Formula Xtreme victories Duhamel joins Nicky Hayden as the only other rider to win in all four categories of AMA Pro road racing.

Erion Honda's young gun Alex Gobert is third in the series putting Hondas 1,2,3 in the series to this point. Gobert is hoping to find the speed to run up front with his Honda teammates at Infineon.

Coming on strong is 2002 AMA Formula Xtreme Champion Jason Pridmore on the No Limit Suzuki. After suffering a DNF at Daytona, Pridmore charged back with a third at California Speedway. Pridmore has proven to be one of the top riders at Infineon Raceway over the years. He's won both Formula Xtreme and Superstock races on the challenging circuit. Unfortunately, Pridmore was injured in a practice crash earlier this month and is questionable for Infineon.

Spies rallies to share Repsol Superstock Series lead with Gobert

Ben Spies left Daytona eighth in the Repsol Superstock Series after serving a stop-and-go penalty for jumping the start. But instead of leaving the opening round with his head hung low, the tough Texan simply looked forward to the rest of the season. "We've got a great bike so I'm not worried about it," he said after the March opener. Spies proved he knew what he was talking about. He came back to take a commanding victory aboard his factory Yoshimura Suzuki at California Speedway earlier this month. As a result Spies comes to round three of the 11-race series at Infineon Raceway, on April 30-May 2, sharing the series points lead with Graves Yamaha's Aaron Gobert.

Spies, last year's Formula Xtreme winner at Infineon, looks to break the tie with Gobert with yet another victory at the Northern California circuit.

The new Superstock class has proven to be very competitive. There's a logjam atop the series standings with the top six riders within 10 points. Any of those six could conceivably leave Infineon Raceway with the points lead.

Spies will have to hold off the tidal wave of Graves Yamaha riders, with four riders in the top six. Gobert heads up the blue brigade, but look for last year's Infineon Supersport winner Jamie Hacking, who is ranked third in Superstock, to be strong at this track.

Kawasaki's racing brothers Tommy and Roger Lee Hayden like the speed of their new ZX-10Rs, but both are still trying to get the chassis on the speedy green bikes perfected. Tommy is ranked fifth, while younger brother is just two points behind him in seventh. Look for both to continue to improve as the Kawasaki crew learns the in-and-outs of setting up the big ZX.

Hometown fans will root for Valvoline EMGO Suzuki's Steve Rapp. Rapp, an Oakland native, came up through the racing ranks the hard way, supporting his racing career by parking cars in a Bay Area restaurant. Rapp is eighth in the series after earning a pair of top-10 finishes. He'll be looking to challenge for the win at Infineon in front of friends, family and fans from the area.

The Infineon Formula Xtreme race and Superstock highlights will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on May 11 beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Call 800-870-RACE, or visit www.infineonraceway.com or www.ticketmaster.com for additional information on the Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown.

-ama-

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Series AMA
Drivers Steve Rapp , Nicky Hayden , Miguel Duhamel , Jamie Hacking , Jake Zemke , Roger Lee Hayden , Ben Spies , Alex Gobert , Aaron Gobert , Jason Pridmore , Ben Bostrom