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Was thinking about how cool this was:

I was lucky enough to stay for racing on monday that year. (Big rain Sunday)

Was still a full on Honda fan and loved seeing a Kawi 636 beat 750's.

Sadly, I think it opened the doors to Formula extreme.

Smaller bike, more speed: Hayden wins Superstock

Mar. 10 – Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden did the impossible in Monday's Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock race, holding off a swarming field to drive all the way from the chicane to the finish line alone.​

Not only did the eldest Hayden brother beat the field, but he did it on a Kawasaki 636, meaning he gave up more than 110cc to the field.

A hard-charging Lee Acree almost made the pass in the draft, finishing a mere .009 seconds behind the Kawasaki rider, with Eric Wood in third, another .09 seconds back in a Daytona dogfight more typical of a Pro Honda Oils Supersport race.

"I knew going to the front was the only chance I had," Hayden said on the podium. "I got a break in the infield, and I must have had just enough of a gap to pull it off. It definitely feels good to pull off the win, and for the 636 to be this good says a lot about the bike."

My hat's off to Tommy," said Acree. "He did everything he had to do and he did it right."

In the race, Hayden grabbed the holeshot and was instantly hounded by Eric Wood and his Kawasaki. By the chicane, Wood came around on the brakes to take the lead. By the time they came back around to start/finish, the Suzuki of Josh Hayes drafted into second.

By lap two, Lee Acre worked into second, with Hayden third after Hayes bobbled in one and dropped back to tenth.

Hayden had enough on the brakes to squeeze back to the front in the chicane on lap four, but not enough motor to make the move stick. By the time they were back to the stripe, Jason Pridmore and Steve Rapp drafted into the no. 1 and no. 2 spot.

By midrace, Mike Ciccotto proved he could run at the front by taking over point, but Pridmore didn't let him stay there for long, repassing a few turns later. the Ciccotto repassed into the chicane, only to be repassed in the draft by Pridmore.

With the pack looking like a swarm of bees flying into one, the line-up half way looked like this: Vince Haskovec, who won a drafting battle to the line to take point, Pridmore, Rapp, Ciccotto, Wood, Hayden, and Acree, all within about 3 tenths of a second.

At the three-lap-to-go point, an astounding eight riders on that first third of a second: Pridmore, Rapp, Ciccotto, Adam Fergusson, Wood, Lee Acree, Hayden and Haskovec. Tony Meiring was nearly 6 seconds back in ninth place.

Then Pridmore ran wide in turn one, to take him out of contention for the win at the start of lap 12. He masterfully saved himself from a highside in the grass and re-entered the racetrack several places down.

As the swarm exited the front straight on the last lap, Hayden had taken the lead on the infield and worked to put some time on everyone by using a lapper to split the field.

He had the barest of leads coming out of the chicane, but held off Acree by .009 at the finish.

© 2003, American Motorcyclist Association
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