ROBB HOLLAND IS HIGHEST FINISHING DODGE, ROOKIE IN TOURING CAR SEASON FINALE AT LAGUNA SECA MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2006) -- Robb Holland carried the banner for Dodge Motorsports in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car series season ...
ROBB HOLLAND IS HIGHEST FINISHING DODGE, ROOKIE IN TOURING CAR SEASON FINALE AT LAGUNA SECA
MONTEREY, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2006) -- Robb Holland carried the banner for Dodge Motorsports in the SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car series season finale at Laguna Seca Raceway this weekend. With his 12th place finish, He was the highest-finishing Dodge and the highest-finishing rookie in his No. 67 3R Racing/Dodge SRT/ Dodge SRT4.
"It was definitely a good result considering we didn't have a lot of track time all weekend long. The 3R guys put together an awesome Dodge SRT4, and the fact that I could be the highest finishing rookie even with the limited track time says a lot about this whole 3R team," said Holland after the race. "Also, the fact that I know this racetrack helped a lot too. If we had seen the yellow flag more, we would have had the opportunity to go deeper into the top-10 and post a finish there."
Holland was on a tear in his Dodge SRT4, making an aggressive move on the start to pick up a position in the first couple of corners on the first lap. He started in the 12th position and by lap four, he had made his way up to the ninth position. He ran in the top-10 for the majority of the race, keeping the leaders in sight and working toward mounting a charge deeper into the top-10. While running in the 10th position, he made contact with the No. 94 of Mary Katherine late in the race and was assessed a stop-and-go penalty for the contact on lap 22. He served the penalty on lap 24 and returned to the track in the 12th position with just two laps left.
"Coming into turn 11, Mary [Katherine] had been shown the blue flag. I thought she had seen me coming on the inside. She was thinking I was going to pass her on the straightaway but I was a little too close for that. Had I waited for it I would have lost drive out of [Turn] 11. I was on the inside, made the pass and she came down," Holland said after the race. "Mary and I are great friends. We talked after the race and I think she's a great driver. It was just one of those racing things and unfortunately the SCCA didn't see it that way."
Dan Aweida, who posted his second-career top-10 start in the No. 66 3R Racing/Dodge SRT/ Dodge SRT4, started in the ninth position as the second highest qualifying Dodge in the field. He finished the race in the 16th position, after running strongly in the top-10 early in the race and passing cars with his sporty 3R Racing SRT4.
"The 3R Racing guys put together a great Dodge SRT4 for me. The setup was good and the car was fast," Aweida said after the race. "They do such a great job with the cars and helping me learn what the car needs as a rookie and I think it showed this weekend, despite the bad luck we had early in the race"
The car was stout, but on lap four, Aweida and the No. 18 car of Freddy Baker made incidental contact. Aweida was assessed a stop-and-go penalty for the contact, and served the penalty on lap seven. He returned to the track at the back of the pack, and worked his way up to the 16th position before the finish of the race.
"It is just unfortunate that the day ended like it did. We had a car capable of more than a 16th place finish," Aweida said. "The stop-and-go penalty hurt us and kept us from being able to continue to run in the top-10.
Fellow SRT4 driver Brian Smith, who was the highest qualifying Dodge for the Touring Car series finale, put his No. 13 Woodhouse Auto Family/Kicker/Dodge SRT4 in the eighth starting position. He got off to a great start when the green flag waved and was moving forward through the field trying to dodge bad luck and bring home a finish that was representative of the strength of his Woodhouse Dodge SRT4. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to do so. After a solid first eight laps, Smith had a problem with the shifter on his car and went off the track.
It was an early end to the day for Smith, who once again had a fast Dodge SRT4 but wasn't able to finish where the car was capable.
"We had a pretty good start. We moved up through the field fairly well at the beginning," Smith said after the race. "I started pushing a little harder and running some faster laps and catching up to the guys in front there a couple of laps in and it was looking pretty promising that we might be able to get up and get a good top-five finish. Then the shift linkage came off and the car was stuck in neutral, so I coasted to the side and was forced to spectate for the rest of the race."
Dodge teams, drivers, and engineers attended the series Award Banquet Sunday evening at the Marriott Hotel in Monterey, Calif. 3R Racing was the recipient of the Touring Car series Crew of the Year award.
-credit: dodge motorsport