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Road Atlanta: Dodge Motorsports race report

DODGE MOTORSPORTS' ROOKIE DAN AWEIDA GETS FIRST CAREER TOP-10 FINISH IN TOURING CAR COMPETITON AT ROAD ATLANTA BRASELTON, Ga. (September 29, 2006) -- Dan Aweida stole the show for Dodge at Road Atlanta in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring...

DODGE MOTORSPORTS' ROOKIE DAN AWEIDA GETS FIRST CAREER TOP-10 FINISH IN TOURING CAR COMPETITON AT ROAD ATLANTA

BRASELTON, Ga. (September 29, 2006) -- Dan Aweida stole the show for Dodge at Road Atlanta in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car series, as the highest qualifying and highest finishing Dodge SRT4 driver in the field. Aweida started ninth and finished ninth, running as high as seventh during the race, and posted his first-career top-10 finish. He was the highest finishing rookie in the race, and received the Piloti Rookie of the Race Aw[aweidasrt4atroadatlantaFORCOMSITE.jpg] ard for his drive. The Boulder, Co., native was happy to take the checkered flag, since he's had bad luck keep him from the finish in his previous starts this season.

"I'm very happy. I've been having some tough luck in other races so, I'm just excited today to finish the race, to qualify in the top-10, to run with my headlights on and finish in the same position [I started in]," Aweida said after the race. "One of my goals since the beginning of the season was to run with my headlights on. Today, I finally got to do that. [I was the] top rookie of the race, the top Dodge of the race and so it's a pretty good day."

3R Racing's Dan Aweida races to his first career top-10 finish at Road Atlanta. Photo credit Mark Weber, Weber Photography.SCCA rules specify that the top-10 cars race with their headlights on so that when they start lapping cars, those lapped cars will recognize that they're racing with the leaders. The rule is for visibility and awareness, but for Aweida today it was symbolic of the best run of his career.

Hal Brown didn't get to run with his headlights on, but he did win the B&M Holeshot Award after picking up six positions at the start of the race. The Virgina native was unable to take the checkered flag in his No. 35 RFC Associates/Dodge Motorsports/Dodge SRT4 because of an issue with a cooler hose, but he was glad to be able to take something with him from the race.

"The car was great but it only ran for a lap-and-a-half. An inner cooler hose came off," said Brown after the race. "We passed a bunch of cars at the beginning. If we would have been able to stay out there I think we could have gotten into the top-10. We're disappointed but I think we're going to be good for the last race at Laguna Seca. "

Brown finished in the 29th position.

Brian Smith, driver of the No. 13 Woodhouse Auto Family/Kicker/Dodge SRT4, started in the day in the 10th position. He had moved into the ninth position after just two laps, and ran as high as eighth during the race, showing the strength of Dodge's SRT4. He finished in the 11th position.

Robb Holland, who qualified 12th in his No. 67 Fila/3R Racing Dodge SRT4, had to start the race at the rear of the field because of a tire change in qualifying. He flat spotted two of his tires during the session, so the tire change was necessary. But his Dodge SRT4 was fast. He started in the 31st position and began passing cars immediately. He drove all the way up to the 17th position by the third lap of the race. He passed four more cars and found himself in the 13th position on lap seven, having been steadily moving through the field since the drop of the green flag.

An incident with the No. 18 car of Freddy Baker shortly thereafter left Holland spinning in turn six and pushed him back to the 18th position. He would pick up three more positions to post a 15th place finish before the checkered flag fell.

Touring Car Series action from Road Atlanta will air on Speed Channel Saturday October 14 at 3 p.m.

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series PWC
Drivers Hal Brown , Brian Smith , Robb Holland , Dan Aweida