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VIR: Formula Xtreme, Superstock preview

AMA FORMULA XTREME SERIES RED HOT AT VIR PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 16, 2006) -- Formula Xtreme series leader Jason DiSalvo may have said it best. "Formula Xtreme is the most entertaining class in the championship this year." His point is hard...

AMA FORMULA XTREME SERIES RED HOT AT VIR

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 16, 2006) -- Formula Xtreme series leader Jason DiSalvo may have said it best. "Formula Xtreme is the most entertaining class in the championship this year." His point is hard to argue. As the AMA Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series rolls into Virginia International Raceway on Saturday, Aug. 19, a mere four points separate the top three riders. Whoever wins between DiSalvo, Josh Hayes and Eric Bostrom at VIR is likely to grab the series lead.

Each of the three leading riders has blazed different paths to the top of the Formula Xtreme standings and that is part of the reason the series has been particularly entertaining. Yamaha's DiSalvo started the season on fire with a slew of podium finishes including a victory at Barber Motorsports Park in April. Erion Honda's Hayes has been steady Eddie in his route to championship contender. Hayes looked early on to be merely a good bet for a podium finish, but that was before he proved himself a potential winner at any given race by putting his Honda on top at the race in Utah in June.

The most spectacular path in his bid for the 2006 Formula Xtreme title has been Yamaha's Eric Bostrom. After a fourth and 22nd-place finishes in the first two rounds, Bostrom found himself mired in ninth in the standings with little hope of catching DiSalvo and Hayes. In round three at California Speedway things began to click for Bostrom. He was victorious and rapidly made his way up the standings ladder by winning five of the last six Formula Xtreme rounds.

Along the way Bostrom, the 1998 Formula Xtreme titlist, has become the all-time Formula Xtreme wins leader passing two-time series champ Miguel Duhamel.

"I feel really good about our bike," said Bostrom after winning the most recent round in Lexington, Ohio. "We started the season far from where we are now and we had a lot of ground to make up. Now it seems like everyone in this class is running good. You look at qualifying and it's just amazing with the top five being within 2-10ths of one another."

Bostrom was also pleased to become the all-time Formula Xtreme wins leader at Mid-Ohio with 14-career victories.

"Anytime you can pass Miguel Duhamel in anything you're doing something right," Bostrom added.

Erion Honda's Aaron Gobert is the only former VIR Formula Xtreme winner in the field this weekend.

Graves Motorsports Yamaha's Jamie Hacking has opened a bit of breathing room over AMA Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series rival Aaron Yates. At round five of the 11-race series Yates scored a victory in Elkhart Lake, Wis., and pulled to within nine points of Hacking. It appeared at that juncture that the series would be a battle to the final lap, but with his recent win at Mid-Ohio, Hacking has now won three straight and opened up his lead over Yates to 27 points.

"I hate to see that points gap getting larger," said Yates, who is the defending and two-time champion of the Superstock class. "I'm riding the best I can and that's all I can do. We'll go to VIR and try to back up our win there from last year."

Hacking is in a position where he doesn't have to win at VIR, but he still approaches the races with victory in mind.

"It's nice to be in a position where you can relax a bit," Hacking admitted. "My crew has given me a bike that makes it comfortable to run up front. Until I get to a point where I don't feel comfortable on the bike I don't see any reason to back down."

Hacking is trying to become only the second rider to win both the AMA Supersport and Superstock titles in the same year. Doug Polen accomplished just that in 1988, the first year of AMA Superstock competition (then called 750 Supersport).

The VIR Lockhart Phillips Formula Xtreme and Repsol Superstock races will be broadcast nationally on SPEED. The Formula Xtreme/Superstock races will air at 5:00 p.m. eastern on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

This weekend's Formula Xtreme and Superstock races are part of Virginia International Raceway's Big Kahuna Nationals presented by Parts Unlimited in Alton, Va., on August 18-20. For additional information call 434.822.7700 or visit the website www.virclub.com.

-credit: ama

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Series AMA
Drivers Miguel Duhamel , Jamie Hacking , Aaron Yates , Eric Bostrom , Aaron Gobert , Josh Hayes