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Rain can't erase Ben Bostrom's smile at Daytona test

Rain can't erase Ben Bostrom's smile during Dunlop tire test. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 11, 2002) -- The first day of a three-day Dunlop tire test in preparation for Daytona 200 Week in March never left the garage area on Monday as steady rain...

Rain can't erase Ben Bostrom's smile during Dunlop tire test.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 11, 2002) -- The first day of a three-day Dunlop tire test in preparation for Daytona 200 Week in March never left the garage area on Monday as steady rain wiped out any track activity.

But the rain couldn't wash away the happiness of Honda's Ben Bostrom, who is returning to the United States after competing in Europe in the World Superbike Championships for the last three seasons.

Bostrom, who went to Europe after winning the 1998 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike championship, is replacing Nicky Hayden at Honda beginning with the AMA season-opening Daytona 200 By Arai on March 9.

In similar fashion to Bostrom, Hayden is moving overseas in 2003 to compete in MotoGP after winning the 2002 AMA Superbike championship. Hayden is also the 2002 Daytona 200 By Arai champion.

Bostrom spent Monday getting comfortable on his Honda RC51 and said he's delighted to be back home in the United States competing in the AMA alongside his brother Eric, who has a factory ride with Kawasaki.

"I'm real excited," said Ben Bostrom. "The last couple of months I have had more fun than I've had in probably three years. It feels good. I just can't wait to get back home. Right now when you look at the AMA, it's so packed with good riders."

Neither of the Bostrom brothers have won the Daytona 200 and both will certainly be labeled among the favorites to capture this year's 57-lap event on the 3.56-mile road course.

"This one in particular, everyone wants to win it because it's the Daytona 200," said Ben Bostrom. "You're going to see every single team putting their 'A' effort into this race.

"I think everybody wants to say, 'I've won the Daytona 200.' I'm happy to have another shot at it. I'd love to walk away and say I've won it. It's probably one of the more classic events that still run today."

Said Eric Bostrom of his older brother: "He's a tough competitor. It's awesome to ride against him."

Dunlop tire testing is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The Oldfield Grandstands are open and free to the public with access through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.

Tickets for Daytona 200 Week and the 61st Daytona 200 By Arai on March 9 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

-dis-

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Eric Bostrom , Ben Bostrom