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Daytona tire test notes 2003-08-20

Ben Bostrom aims for 2004 Daytona win DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Aug. 20, 2003) -- Honda's Ben Bostrom returned to historic Daytona International Speedway this week for a three-day Dunlop tire test in preparation for the 2004 Daytona 200 By...

Ben Bostrom aims for 2004 Daytona win

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Aug. 20, 2003) -- Honda's Ben Bostrom returned to historic Daytona International Speedway this week for a three-day Dunlop tire test in preparation for the 2004 Daytona 200 By Arai.

In the season-opening Daytona 200 By Arai earlier this year at the "World Center of Racing," Bostrom started on the pole and finished second in a thrilling three-bike finish in the historic motorcycle classic.

Bostrom had the "unfortunate" honor of leading fellow Honda riders Kurtis Roberts and Miguel Duhamel on the final lap of the Daytona 200 By Arai.

"It was (amazing)," said Bostrom as he replayed the finish in his mind during Wednesday's lunch break. "It's funny, I went through that whole race thinking, 'I'm going to win this thing.' I was out there just chilling and then it becomes this three-bike duel and it comes down to the end."

Bostrom, who knows the advantage on the last lap at Daytona belongs to the trailing riders who use the draft to pull off slingshot passes, is thinking, 'Why do I have to lead this thing?'

"When we came out of the west end, I had a lot of tire left and I got a pretty big drive but I didn't know if it was big enough. So I tried to pull a little shenanigans down there in the chicane and get an even bigger drive and I thought that was a good drive too. About the time I was thinking that's probably big enough, a bike came by. Frustrating."

Duhamel beat Bostrom to the checkered flag for a margin of victory of .69 seconds. It was Duhamel's fourth Daytona 200 By Arai victory, one shy of Scott Russell's five wins.

Bostrom is still searching for his first Daytona 200 By Arai victory but must wait until next March and the 63rd Daytona 200 By Arai for another shot at winning the prestigious motorcycle race.

He believes the experience of that three-bike last lap dash to the checkers will only help him when next year's Daytona 200 By Arai finish comes down to the wire.

"I'm really looking forward to next year getting another shot here," Bostrom said. "That's my third 200 and I haven't won yet. I'm really hoping No. 4 is the magic number for us."

Joining Bostrom on the second day of the three-day tire test was Duhamel and Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin and Aaron Yates. Bostrom says they've made progress in developing Dunlop tires for next year's Daytona 200 By Arai.

"Yesterday, it was suppose to rain and (it didn't) and we got a lot accomplished," Bostrom said. "Today, it's been beautiful. We've testing a lot of things and making a bit of progress on a few good tires. It's been pretty cool."

The Dunlop tire test concludes on Thursday. The test is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand available through DAYTONA USA, the official attraction of NASCAR.

For ticket information for next year's Daytona 200 Week, call the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

-dis-

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Series AMA
Drivers Kurtis Roberts , Miguel Duhamel , Scott Russell , Aaron Yates , Ben Bostrom