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Bostrom Tries to Keep Pace With Big Brother

September 27, 2000|DARIN ESPER

Eric Bostrom , a former resident of Granada Hills, has the inside track to the American Motorcyclist Assn. 600 SuperSport series championship in the final race Sunday at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond.

Bostrom, 23, who moved to Las Vegas with his older brother, Ben Bostrom, in January, leads Kurtis Roberts of Medina, Ohio, 247-239.

"With all the traveling I do, wherever I call home isn't really home, because I don't really spend a lot of time there," Eric said. "It's just a place to hang my hat."

Bostrom's local knowledge is one reason he should be considered a favorite Sunday, despite the close points battle which basically turns the race into a winner-take-all shootout for the championship.

"I have a ton of laps there and feel like I really know the place," Bostrom said. "It feels like my home track, plus I have a lot of family and friends that will be there."

One family member in particular is Bostrom's ace in the hole: Brother Ben, 26, 1998 AMA Superbike champion who was a regular training partner before joining the Europe-based World Superbike Championship series this year.

"I was going to attend the race anyway to watch [Eric] win the championship," said Ben, who has been back in the country for two weeks and will return to England on Sunday night. "I decided I wanted to race, so I asked the Ducati factory if they had a motorcycle, and they agreed to provide one for me."

Said Eric: "We have been riding and training together. We've got that competitive thing between us that I've been missing all year. It's definitely going to give me an edge."

Roberts and Eric each have two victories in eight races of what was originally scheduled to be a 10-race series. The second round, scheduled for May 7 at Sears Point in Sonoma, was postponed because of rain and canceled when a makeup date could not be arranged.

Eric won the 1996 AMA 883 dirt track series championship, the 1997 AMA SuperTwins championship and the 1998 AMA Formula Xtreme championship, and he was third in the 600 SuperSport championship.

He competed in four Superbike races substituting for an injured teammate in 1998, scoring consecutive victories followed by a third-place finish and a fifth.

In 1999, Eric broke an ankle in a crash at the first race, which forced him to miss two races. He came back with seven top-10 finishes in the 600 SuperSport class and was in the top 10 in all but the final Superbike race.

"It's good top see [Eric] back on track this year," Ben said. "He's back where he's supposed to be. Up front."

Eric is fourth in the Superbike points standings, in which Matt Mladin of Australia leads Nicky Hayden of Owensboro, Ky., 365-346. Hayden must capture the pole, lead the most laps on his way to victory and hope Mladin finishes 13th or worse to win the Superbike championship.


It appears Bryan Herta of Valencia will not compete in the final three races of the CART series.

According to Tamy Valkosky , communications director of Forsythe Championship Racing, the team came close to securing the sponsorship necessary for Herta to race in street races at Houston on Sunday and Surfer's Paradise, Australia, Oct. 15.

"Right now, it looks like a definite no," Valkosky said. "I think it's real hard on the guys after they got a taste of competition at Laguna Seca. There may be a thin sliver of hope for [the Marlboro 500 Oct. 29 at California Speedway in] Fontana, but I seriously doubt it."

One piece to Herta's plans for 2001 fell into place Tuesday when it was announced Michael Andretti signed a three-year deal to race a Reynard-Honda for Team KOOL Green with Motorola sponsorship.


Defending NASCAR Winston West series champion Sean Woodside of Saugus, who started 21st in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest series 250 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, was again plagued by hard luck but finished the race and maintained his hold on fourth place in the points standings.

Woodside's car was rear-ended at the start and suffered major body damage to the front end in the resulting crash. Woodside fell several laps behind while his crew ripped away damaged parts, but he returned to the track and completed 97 laps of the 180-lap event to finish 22nd.

Frank Maronski Jr. of Quartz Hill finished fourth and M.K. Kanke, formerly of Granada Hills, finished fifth. Mark Reed of Bakersfield led the final 44 laps to earn his first victory since 1996.


Cory Kruseman of Ventura was fourth and Troy Cline of Santa Clarita was eighth in the Sprint Car Racing Assn. main event Saturday at Perris Auto Speedway won by Tony Jones of Corona.

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