LOCKHART PHILLIPS USA FORMULA XTREME SERIES BATTLE COMES TO MID-OHIO Yates and DiSalvo in tight Repsol Superstock Series race PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 19, 2005) -- A year ago Miguel Duhamel came into Mid-Ohio Sports Car course protecting a ...
LOCKHART PHILLIPS USA FORMULA XTREME SERIES BATTLE COMES TO MID-OHIO
Yates and DiSalvo in tight Repsol Superstock Series race
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 19, 2005) -- A year ago Miguel Duhamel came into Mid-Ohio Sports Car course protecting a 17-point lead in the Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series over teammate Jake Zemke. This year the two riders have traded places -- Zemke comes to the Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire on July 22-24, sporting a seven-point lead over Duhamel as the series enters the homestretch.
It's a two-rider race in the Repsol Superstock Series as well. Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates has scored three wins in the last four rounds and taken over the series lead, but Graves Yamaha's Jason DiSalvo is keeping in contention with solid podium performances.
Last year's Mid-Ohio Formula Xtreme race proved to be a turning point in the series. Honda's Duhamel and Zemke traded the lead until Zemke crashed out in the infamous Keyhole section of the track. Duhamel went on to win, building an insurmountable lead in the championship.
Duhamel comes into the race this year needing to defend his victory of a year ago. If he's able to do so he could virtually tie the points race with two rounds to go and would become the first rider to win back-to-back Mid-Ohio Formula Xtreme races.
Zemke, on the other hand, is looking to redeem himself after losing his shot at the title with his Mid-Ohio crash last year. The Californian rider has won four races in six rounds and knows that he'll have to keep that pace if he's to score his first AMA championship.
"The season has gone really well so far," said Zemke, who has been runner-up in AMA road racing championships four times. "Now that the series is coming into the final few rounds I have to really keep my concentration high. I don't have a big enough lead to relax. The bottom line is that I'll still probably have to win two of the last three races to win the championship and I know it's going to be a tough battle."
While the Zemke/Duhamel battle was expected in Formula Xtreme, young Oklahoman flat tracker turned road racer Danny Eslick has been a surprise in the series. Eslick is third in standings on his MPTracing.com Suzuki after tallying four top-five finishes. Eslick hopes to hold off Erion Racing Honda's Alex Gobert in the closing stages of the season.
Aaron Yates won the Mid-Ohio Superstock race (then called 750 Supersport) back in 1996. The veteran Georgina rider is back in the series for the first time since '96 and a strong surge in the second half of the season has given Yates the series lead coming into Mid-Ohio.
There have been five different winners in the seven Superstock races so far this year, but Yates is the only rider to manage more than a single win. He has three wins so far and a victory at Mid-Ohio would move Yates past the legendary Hall of Famer Fred Merkel for fifth on the all-time AMA Superstock wins list.
Graves Yamaha's Jason DiSalvo is the only rider who has been able to hang with Yates in the course of the grueling championship chase. DiSalvo scored a win in the series at California Speedway early this season and followed that up with four other podium finishes. DiSalvo is the defending race winner at Mid-Ohio and a repeat win could move him even closer to his goal of winning the Superstock title. If DiSalvo scores a repeat victory he would be the first rider to defend a Mid-Ohio Superstock win since Scott Russell completed a three-peat at the track in 1992.
The Lockhart-Phillips Formula Xtreme and highlights of the Repsol Superstock races will air on Tuesday, July 26 at 2 p.m. EST as part of SPEED Channel's Two Wheel Tuesday.
For additional information contact Mid-Ohio at (614) 793-4600 or visit www.midohio.com.