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AMA: Two Points Separate Leaders Coming to Route 66

7 August 1998

WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- The battle between one of the MBNA Superbike Series' winningest veterans and one of its hottest rookies intensifies as the MBNA Superbike Tour comes to the new Route 66 Raceway this weekend, Aug. 7-9. A margin of just 2 points separates series leader Doug Chandler and his Muzzy Kawasaki from the hard-charging, Honda-mounted Ben Bostrom in the premier MBNA Superbike Series.

Chandler, who injured his foot in a crash at the Laguna Seca World Superbike Round last month, has seen his lead shrink to the smallest of margins as he posted two uncharacteristic finishes in the past two rounds that barely put him in the top 10. Bostrom, meanwhile, has ridden the momentum that comes with consistent podium finishes -- including a third-place in last week's Brainerd, Minnesota, race -- narrowing Chandler's lead to 7 points, and now to 2.

With only three races left on the calendar, each rider will be looking to put some distance on the other at Route 66 Raceway. Chandler, whose foot continues to heal, will need to run higher than he has in the past two races, while Bostrom's goal will be to step up his own pace to get ahead of the Salinas, Calif., rider.

Other riders to watch at Route 66 include last week's MBNA Superbike winner Eric Bostrom, Ben's brother, who in his second-ever MBNA Superbike race last weekend at Brainerd out-ran and out-cornered a hard-charging field to take the checkers on the Honda factory's RC45. Suzuki ace Mat Mladin, who finished second at Brainerd, also seems to be on a charge lately. And fans can't rule out the likes of Jamie Hacking, who was running with the leaders until a final-corner crash at Brainerd, or Vance & Hines Ducati's new rider, Jason Pridmore, who proved he could come to grips with the Ducati after leading last week's race for many laps in the early going.

In the Pro Honda Oils 600 SuperSport Series, Suzuki's Steve Crevier hopes to continue distancing himself from series' second-place rider Doug Chandler. With a second-place finish at Brainerd, Crevier widened his lead to 18 points.

The TeamLine 750 SuperSport Series race will see Richard Alexander attempt to continue closing the gap on series leader Steve Rapp. Alexander gained 5 points on Rapp by placing second at Brainerd. Rapp, who finished fourth at Brainerd, saw his lead shrink to 12 points. He can't afford a complacent ride at Route 66.

In the Pirelli Formula Extreme Series, it appears that Erion Racing's 1-2 punch is the winning combination. Riders Eric Bostrom and Tripp Nobles III have combined to win every race in the series for the Erion team. Eight of those wins have come by way of Eric Bostrom's unrelenting talent, which has given the Californian a 40-point cushion. A win at Route 66 would go a long way toward seeing Bostrom wrap up the championship before the end of the season.

In the Elf Fuels and Lubricants 250 Grand Prix series, points leader Roland Sands enjoys a 47-point cushion over the field, leaving him with the job of riding consistently and conservatively to protect his title bid. The second-place battle, meanwhile, has heated up, with Charles Sorensen surging at Brainerd to catch and tie Kurtis Roberts in points. With three wins to his credit, though, Sorensen holds the second-place spot on the roster, while Roberts previous single win gives him third. Route 66 will likely see one or the other move ahead in the points.

In the Progressive Insurance Pro Thunder Series, each of the top three riders maintains a shot at the title. Third-place rider Curtis Adams has been riding the strongest, with six wins this season. But missing the first round of the series has put him 5 points behind second-place rider Shawn Higbee, who is 11 points behind leader Paul Harrell. All three riders will need good finishes at Route 66 to put their mark on the series.

For further event and ticket information contact Route 66 Raceway by phone at (815) 722-5500.