JOSH HAYES: 2006 AMA FORMULA XTREME CHAMPION PICKERINGTON, Ohio (October 4, 2006) -- Josh Hayes captured the 2006 Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series title by taking a dramatic victory in the series finale at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course...
JOSH HAYES: 2006 AMA FORMULA XTREME CHAMPION
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (October 4, 2006) -- Josh Hayes captured the 2006 Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series title by taking a dramatic victory in the series finale at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, Oct. 1.
Formula Xtreme was the most closely contested series in AMA championship road racing this year. Hayes, Eric Bostrom and Jason DiSalvo came into Mid-Ohio all with a good shot at winning the title. Hayes turned in one of the best races of his career to secure his second AMA title. He rode an Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR-based machine to a 2.355-second margin of victory over Yamaha's Bostrom.
In the end the two were separated by just seven points, 358-351.
"I'm proud of myself in a lot of ways because to beat a guy with the reputation of an Eric Bostrom on the track was such a hard thing to do," Hayes said. "My team did such a good job and Honda was behind me so much. We were very fortunate. We kind of found some things and we found a good bike and I felt like I was riding the thing better and better, especially towards the end of the season. And I learned a lot from Eric, just racing with him."
This year's Lockhart Phillips Formula Xtreme championship is the second national title for Hayes. The 31-year-old Mississippi native also won the 2003 AMA Superstock Championship.
For Hayes to keep Formula Xtreme in the Honda camp was a major accomplishment. Yamaha made a major push in the class this year with Bostrom and DiSalvo. Honda's main factory squad departed the series after winning at Daytona with Jake Zemke, leaving its primary support squad, Erion Racing Honda, to uphold company honors. Erion and Hayes did a remarkable job staying in the hunt all season and emerging as the top team. Hayes quietly kept early leader DiSalvo in sight in the first half of the season before breaking through with a victory in June at the new Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. Hayes then closed the season with a flourish, winning the final two rounds at Road Atlanta and Mid-Ohio.
"We came against a truly formidable opponent who put a lot of effort into making sure that they squashed us," Hayes said of Yamaha. "They came fully loaded with big guns. I didn't really have a lackluster part of the season. I have one race I wish I could give back and try again. But Eric deserves so much. The guy won more races than anybody in the series. There's no doubt he deserves a lot. I just was able to put the pieces together and win the right races at the right time."
Bostrom was gracious in defeat.
"I think that Josh is one of those guys that's had a career that's kind of stumbled because of bad luck, but is immensely talented, so it's cool," Bostrom said. "As bummed as I am, it's cool to see somebody that's so well deserving, and that's had so many tough breaks, to come out on top. That makes it worthwhile."
Hayes' three wins this year put him 10th on the all-time Formula Xtreme wins list. He is the eighth winner of the series that began in 1997. The title was the seventh for Honda in Formula Xtreme and the third straight.
-credit: ama pro racing