Mat Mladin center podium, Ben Spies right 2nd place, and Tommy Hayden left 3rd at Big Kahuna
Photos by Jeff Kluss/SIT
DANVILLE, VA (August 18, 2008 ) Story by John Davison – Mat Mladin added another notch in his near-perfect record at VIRginia International Raceway with his eighth consecutive victory at VIRginia International Raceway’s Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals presented by Dunlop, RockStar and Makita AMA Superbike races. However, the win will not be official until AMA headquarters in Pickerington, Ohio completes an inspection of the crankshaft out of Mladin’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Mat Mladin #6 taking turn 3 led 27 of 28 laps after taking lead from #22 Tommy Hayden
Results of the inspection will be released as soon as possible by the AMA. The parts from Mladin’s bike will be compared with the same parts from production bikes.
If the win stands, it will move Mladin to within only 18 points of his teammate Ben Spies, current points leader, but a healthy 121 points ahead of Denver, NC’s Jamie Hacking. Sunday’s win is Mladin’s sixth in a row for the 2008 Superbike season, and carries his momentum in to the next race, where he is touted to tie Ben Spies’ record of seven consecutive victories.
Ben Spies #1still leads the point race in spite of teammate Mat Mladin’s eighth consecutive victory for 2008
Mladin commented on the possibility of repeating his win at Road Atlanta and posting a new consecutive win streak record: “Obviously that would be great,” the Australian said. “Right now winning races is my priority and my goal in my racing career, to stack up as many as I can. If we go eight in a row, obviously that would be fantastic.
Mat Mladin helmet and #6 in the winner’s circle
Michael Jordon’s team #99 Geoff May and #20 Aaron Yates finished 8th and 21st respectively
#61 Scott Jensen catching air out of turn 5A #50 Matt D. Lynn of Ball Ground, GA working turn 2
Following Mladin and Spies home was their teammate Tommy Hayden, making a clean sweep of the top three positions in both races for their team of Suzukis. Fourth went to Eric Bostrom, mounted on a Yamaha YZF-R1, followed in fifth by Miguel DuHamel on his Honda CBR1000RR.
Kenny Noyes leading Ben Thompson out of turn 3 Reno Kariman finished 17th
The Supersport race went to Josh Hayes, mounted on his Erion Honda, ahead of the pair of Yamahas ridden by Ben Bostrom and Josh Herrin, with Blake Young and Jake Zemke finishing the top five.
Josh Hayes with Ben Bostrom and Josh Herrin on the podium
Josh Hayes #4, Steve Rapp #15, & Jake Zemke #98 Josh Hayes led entire race and seen going into turn 4
In the AMA Superstock Series presented by Dynojet, Aaron Yates took the victory by nearly ten seconds over Jake Holden, while Chris Perris, a privateer from Calgary was so stoked after his podium finish that the team almost drove off from the paddock without one of their awards. “Broke guys do good,” was Chris’ comment when stopped to deliver the items. “This is the way racing should be. This place blows San Diego away.”
Aaron Yates, Jake Holden, and Chris Perris ready to spray champagne on crowd
The Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup race started as scheduled in the morning, but a first lap crash that sent two riders to the hospital caused it to be delayed until the final event of the day. Toriano Wilson, Luciano Ribodino and Garet Tomlinson were all involved in a crash that saw Ribodino taken to Duke Medical Center in Durham, NC and Ribodino taken to UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, NC, while Tomlinson escaped relatively uninjured. Hayden Gillim, took his second straight win, riding just a few days after mid-week surgery to repair a broken collarbone. “I’m just really happy to get my second win. I didn’t think I’d do well here with my broken collarbone but when we showed up and I went out and qualified third, I knew I had a chance.”
VIRginia International Raceway is a multi-purpose road racing facility, located on the Dan River between Danville and South Boston, Virginia. Reopened in 2000, VIR hosts a wide range professional and amateur auto and motorcycle racing and track events, and is well established as “America’s Motorsport Resort.” In addition to its historic 3.27 mile natural-terrain road racing circuit, VIR is the cornerstone of VIR Club, America’s first motorsports country club; the VIR Raceplex Industrial Park and Motorsports Technology Park, which includes the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (“VIPER”); the Plantation Valley Kart Track, a 5/8 mile paved natural terrain karting circuit; an expanding variety of on-site lodging (including 45 hotel rooms and the trackside Villas which are for sale); Camp Motorsport for enthusiasts of all ages; and the Oak Tree Tavern, a full-service restaurant located within the circa-1840 Plantation Clubhouse.
The next big event at VIR occurs on the weekend of October 3-5, when GT Live and the KONI Challenge bring a thrilling combination of motorcycle stunts, drifting, ‘track attack’ events and endurance sports car races. The KONI Challenge sports cars run their six-hour season finale endurance races on Saturday and Sunday. There is no real break in the action however, as September has back-to-back weekends of action with the Championship Cup Series motorcycle races on the 20th and 21st, while the next weekend VIR welcomes the vintage sports car of Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, joined by a reunion of the IMSA Radial Sedan series. The weekend of November 1 closes out VIR’s spectator season with the Sports Car Club of America’s ‘Charge of the Headlight Brigade,’ a 13-hour enduro. These events are all combined with a wide variety of motorcycle and sports car amateur and vintage road racing and schools throughout the year.