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Sebring: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE MOTORSPORTS LOOKS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEBRING WIN SEBRING, Fla. (March 14, 2006) -- As the highly-competitive SCCA SPEED World Challenge kicks off its 2006 season, Dodge Motorsports will be looking for its second consecutive win at...

DODGE MOTORSPORTS LOOKS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEBRING WIN

SEBRING, Fla. (March 14, 2006) -- As the highly-competitive SCCA SPEED World Challenge kicks off its 2006 season, Dodge Motorsports will be looking for its second consecutive win at historic Sebring International Raceway this week as part of the 54th annual Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring event.

Dodge Motorsports is continuing its technical support of privateer road racing teams in 2006 and will be well-represented by a fleet of 10 Dodge Viper Competition Coupes in the SWC GT class race, as well as three Dodge SRT4s in the Touring class race at Sebring. SWC will hold separate timed races of 50 minutes for the two classes on Friday, March 17, at the 3.7-mile Sebring circuit.

Tommy Archer of Duluth, Minn., the 2004 SWC GT champion, and 2005 runner-up, will try for his second consecutive Sebring win in a Viper Competition Coupe. Archer will drive for a new team this season, joining AutoHaus Motorsports of nearby Pompano Beach, Fla.

"AutoHaus is a very professional team and we're expecting some good things to be coming out of that new combination," said Gary Johnson, manager of road racing for Dodge Motorsports.

Also expected to be a strong candidate for victory in the GT class at Sebring is Michael McCann of North Canton, Ohio, top rookie in the SWC GT class in 2004, in the McCann Racing Viper Competition Coupe. McCann will be seeking his first series victory.

The Viper Competition Coupe, powered by an 8.3-litre V10 engine, was driven by Archer to his first series championship in 2004. With improvements to the car, Archer scored two wins in 2005 and came within six points of his second straight title.

"The Competition Coupe is a mature and reliable car and we are looking to do very well this year with it," said Johnson. "And we have some new drivers that we're looking to perform strongly."

Joining Archer and McCann in Friday's GT race in Dodge Viper Competition Coupes will be Bob Woodhouse of Blair, Neb., Lenny Diller of Garden City, N.Y., Kenny Hawkins of Raleigh, N.C., and Adel Elsayed of Boonten Township, N.J. Series rookies Rob Foster of Phoenix, Brett Pearson of Orlando, Fla., Skip Sauls of Longwood, Col., and Derek Burseth of Bartlett, Ill., will also compete in Viper Competition Coupes.

Friday's SWC Touring event will see Dan Aweida of Boulder, Col., driving a Dodge SRT4, joined in the marque by series rookies Brian Smith of Simpsonville, S.C., and Hal Brown of Blacksburg, Va.

"We're working with a new team this year in Touring, Woodhouse Performance, with Brian Smith driving," said Johnson. "It's a very good program and it might surprise some teams that have more history. We think we'll see a lot of top 10s this year."

Practice sessions for both series will be held on Wednesday, while qualifying to set the race's starting lineups will be held Thursday. The Touring race will start at 11:25 a.m. on Friday, with the GT race to start at 4:50 p.m. All SWC races feature exciting standing starts.

Both races will have tape-delayed television coverage on the SPEED Channel. The Touring race will air at 3 p.m. (Eastern) on Sunday, March 19, with the GT race to air immediately following.

In addition to its technical support for race teams, Dodge Motorsports is offering nearly $0.75 million in its SCCA contingency program in 2006. Prize money from the fund is awarded to Dodge drivers who finish in the top 10 positions in SWC races, and Dodge further rewards teams that earn points toward a Dodge Manufacturer's Championship. The Dodge Street and Racing Technology (SRT) vehicle line carries the status of "Official Cars and Trucks" of the SCCA.

-www.dodgemotorsportsmedia.com.

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Series PWC
Drivers Tommy Archer , Hal Brown , Brian Smith , Michael McCann , Kenny Hawkins , Adel Elsayed , Bob Woodhouse , Derek Burseth , Dan Aweida , Brett Pearson , John Gary