HAYES SEEKING FIRST VIR FORMULA XTREME VICTORY Superstock riders anxious to get back on track after long break PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 15, 2007) -- Josh Hayes is firmly in control of the Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series presented...
HAYES SEEKING FIRST VIR FORMULA XTREME VICTORY
Superstock riders anxious to get back on track after long break
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 15, 2007) -- Josh Hayes is firmly in control of the Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series presented by HMR, but he still has goals to meet this season. One of them is putting his Erion Honda on top of the podium in the Formula Xtreme race at Virginia International Raceway this Saturday, Aug. 18.
Hayes comes to VIR this weekend with a solid 50-point lead in the Formula Xtreme standings having won five of the seven rounds. With that type of margin Hayes could have a problem at one race and still hold the championship lead, so with the pressure off he'd like to close out the year with a string of victories. While the Gulfport, Mississippi rider has scored eight career wins putting him tied for fifth on the all-time Formula Xtreme wins list leading up to this Saturday's race, he's yet to score a victory at VIR.
"I like VIR and I'd like to think I can win there," Hayes said. "I came so close last year in a great battle with Eric [Bostrom]. Hopefully it's my time to get a victory there."
The VIR Formula Xtreme race last year was one of the all-time classics in the history of the series with Bostrom coming out on top over Hayes by just 0.122 seconds in a riveting last-lap battle.
Hayes' biggest challenge this year in Virginia may come from within his own team. Aaron Gobert has already scored a win this year on the second Erion Honda and has three runners-up finishes on top of that. While Gobert may be nearly out of the title hunt this year, he'll certainly be looking to close out the season with some strong finishes. The likeable Australian won the Formula Xtreme race at VIR in 2001.
Attack Kawasaki has also been a leading team in the series this year. Steve Rapp won the Daytona 200 and has been looking to climb to the top of the box ever since. His teammate Ben Attard scored a runner-up finish to Hayes at Mid-Ohio, establishing him as a genuine threat to win at VIR.
If Rapp or Attard breaks through this weekend it would mark the first VIR Formula Xtreme victory for Kawasaki.
Another rider to watch at VIR this weekend will be Celtic Racing's Chaz Davies who finished third at Mid-Ohio, riding a Supersport-spec Yamaha.
While the Formula Xtreme riders are renewing their rivalry of just two weeks ago, AMA Superstock Series presented by Dyonjet riders are chomping at the bit to get back to racing after a two-month layoff. The Mid-Ohio round was canceled due to weather so that means the last time the Superstock riders raced was at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah back on June 24.
Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies is dominating the series with five wins in six races. He was the only rider in the series to score a point at Mid-Ohio by winning the pole. That pushed his lead to 40 points over Graves Yamaha's Ben Bostrom.
Jordan Suzuki's Aaron Yates, just six-points back in third, is looking to close the gap on Bostrom at VIR. Yates is the only rider other than Spies to win in the series this year. Yates won the 2005 Superstock race at VIR.
This weekend's Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series and AMA Superstock Series presented by Dynojet races are part of the Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals. The races will be televised nationally on SPEED on Aug. 21, at 12:00 pm Eastern.
Tickets are available by visiting www.m1event.com or call 770-965-4565 or 770-965-4566.