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Mid-Ohio: Dodge Motorsports preview

DODGE MOTORSPORTS' MC CANN READIES FOR RACE AT HOMETOWN TRACK Dodge Viper Competition Coupes and SRT4s Set to Take on Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course LEXINGTON, Ohio, (May 18, 2006) -- While the stock car world is gathered in Charlotte and the ...

DODGE MOTORSPORTS' MC CANN READIES FOR RACE AT HOMETOWN TRACK

Dodge Viper Competition Coupes and SRT4s Set to Take on Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

LEXINGTON, Ohio, (May 18, 2006) -- While the stock car world is gathered in Charlotte and the open-wheel world is preparing for the Indy 500, sports car enthusiasts are getting ready for the SPEED World Challenge at Mid-Ohio Presented by Trenton Forging Quality Formed Solutions. Held on "one of the most competitive tracks in the series", the event promises to deliver fast-paced action in both the SPEED GT and SPEED Touring series.

Dodge Motorsports will be well-represented by a fleet of seven Dodge Vipers in the SWC GT class race. Tommy Archer of Duluth, Minn., driving the No. 5 C3/Autohaus Dodge Viper, will be looking to return to last season's winning ways while Ohio-native Michael McCann of North Canton, Ohio, in the No. 82 McCann Plastics Dodge Viper looks to widen his narrow series points lead.

The Dodge Vipers started the season strong with a win, four top-10 finishes and seven cars in the top 15 at Sebring International Raceway. St. Petersburg didn't prove as successful, although Dodge still placed three Vipers in the top 10 and four in the top 15. Bob Woodhouse of Blair, Neb., hot off his career-best third-place performance at Sebring, led the Dodges with a fifth-place finish. At Long Beach, Archer took the pole and he and McCann finished two-three to lead the Dodges in California.

This weekend, the Dodge Vipers will hit the 2.258-mile, 13-turn layout known for its close, competitive races. Among the track's signature turns are the Keyhole, the Esses, Thunder Valley and the Carousel.

In addition to the Dodge Vipers, the Dodge SRT4s will take to the Midwestern road course this weekend for their third race of the season. Led by Brian Smith, in the Woodhouse Auto Family SRT4, Hal Brown in the RFC/Dodge SRT4 and Dan Aweida in the 3R Racing SRT4, the Dodge squad hopes to improve their performance over the first two races of the season and move up in drive and manufacturer points.

The action begins on Friday morning, with the final race concluding on Sunday afternoon.

"We've had some good finishes, but we've also faced some challenges this year," said John Fernandez, director of Dodge Motorsports Operations. "At St. Petersburg, we faced accidents, at Long Beach we had a situation with a computer system. Hopefully this weekend everything will go in our favor and we'll bring home wins in both classes."

The Viper Competition Coupe, powered by an 8.3-litre V10 engine, is a proven performer in the SPEED World Challenge competition. Archer took the GT title in 2004 and came within just six points of repeating the feat in 2005.

Joining Archer, Woodhouse and McCann in Saturday's GT race in Dodge Viper Competition Coupes will be; Ritch Marziale of Tempe, Ariz.; rookies Rob Foster of Phoenix and Skip Sauls of Longwood, Col.; and Adel Elsayed of Boonton, N.J.

The weekend's events will be televised later this month. The SPEED World Challenge Touring event will air on SPEED TV on May 27 at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the SPEED World Challenge GT event at 9 p.m.

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.

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Series PWC
Drivers Tommy Archer , John Fernandez , Hal Brown , Brian Smith , Michael McCann , Adel Elsayed , Bob Woodhouse , Dan Aweida , Skip Sauls , Ritch Marziale