Ben Spies (center) had quite a weekend at Mid-Ohio in August of 2006 with two victories over Mat Mladin (left) and Miguel Duhamel (right). Photo by Henny Ray Abrams

With MotoAmerica set to bring AMA Superbike racing back to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, August 16-18, we’re taking a closer look at past Superbike races at the iconic racetrack in Lexington, Ohio.

Two AMA Superbike events took place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2006. One was memorable for what happened on the racetrack, the other was a debacle both on and off track because of the track and weather. First things first and more on that next week.

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Ben Spies swept the August doubleheader for his ninth and 10th victories of the season and he did so in dominating fashion. The wins also put him in prime position to earn the 2006 AMA Superbike Championship.

Spies’ performance in Saturday’s race was the more impressive of the two wins in August because he simply buried the competition from the get-go, leading the first lap by 2.3 seconds and 4.1 seconds after the second lap. He never looked back after that and eventually took the win by 5.7 seconds in the red-flag interrupted race. The Texan led by almost 10 seconds when the red flag was thrown.

On Sunday, Spies was again quick from the start, but this time Miguel Duhamel and Mat Mladin were able to at least keep him in sight. Still, Spies was able to go that pace for the duration. The other two couldn’t.

The battle for second kept the crowd entertained as Mladin and Duhamel went back and forth with Mladin getting the better of the French Canadian when they hit traffic late in the race. Following his second-place finish in Saturday’s race, Sunday’s runner-up was Mladin’s ninth second-place finish of the season with Duhamel taking third – an identical podium to Saturday’s race.

The rest of the Superbike pack were far from consistent with Kawasaki’s Tommy Hayden the best of the rest with fifth- and seventh-place finishes. His brother Roger was next best with two eighth-place finishes.

The other factory men had difficult weekends. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Aaron Yates was fourth on Saturday but crashed on Sunday; Parts Unlimited Ducati’s Ben Bostrom crashed on Sunday after finishing 20th on Saturday after pitting for a new clutch; Bostrom’s teammate Neil Hodgeon was fifth on Sunday, but was 16th Saturday; Michael Jordan Motorsports’ Steve Rapp and Jason Pridmore split sixth-place finishes, but they also split non-finishes with crashes.

“These two guys (Mladin and Duhamel)… they’ve been on posters on my garage wall ever since I’ve been growing up,” Spies said. “To be where I’m at right now, it’s pretty special. And this weekend was definitely a special weekend.”

Mladin summed things up with his post-race quote.

“I was pushing as hard as I could go,” Mladin said. “I’ve got to win races, and I was trying too hard today. Ben (Spies) was just too fast. That’s it.”