DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2009) – A caution flag with just under four minutes remaining sealed the win for Turner Motorsports’ Bill Auberlen and Matthew Bell in the Fresh From Florida 200 KONI Challenge Series race on Friday at Daytona International Speedway.

It was a close race throughout the three-hour timed event and Auberlen’s BMW snaked up to the leader spot just seconds before the eighth and final caution flag came out that effectively ended the race.

“This was one of those battles that you’re actually smiling while you’re in the car,” Auberlen said of the three-car dogfight at the end of the race.

For Bell, getting to the podium as a winner in his first Grand Sport race was a great way to start off the season.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Bell said. “I wouldn’t have imagined that my first race in GS with Turner Motorsports would land me up here. Yeah, it’s great.”  

Horsepower Ranch’s Mustang Team of Hugh Plumb and Jack Roush Jr. finished second in overall while Rehagen Racing’s Dean Martin and Ken Wilden took third-place honors.

“What a battle,” Plumb said. “I think with a couple more laps to go and, with a fantastic car, I think I could have brought it back to the lead.”

The Georgian Bay Motorsports No. 00 Chevrolet Cobalt Team of Pat Iannucci and Lawson Aschenbach finished first in the Street Tuner division. With the victory, Iannucci became the first driver to win at Daytona having never raced in a car since Kyle Petty pulled off that feat in the 1979 ARCA 200.

“That was one of the most incredible races that I’ve ever run in my entire life,” Aschenbach said. “Pat did a great job for his first race. He’s never been in a Cobalt before and he did an amazing job in the race and we are really happy.”

Next up at Daytona International Speedway is  the 47th anniversary of the Rolex 24 on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Included in the star-studded 24-hour race that features Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya and Danica Patrick is a wine and cheese tasting, the largest Ferris Wheel on the East Coast, Chili Cook Off and a massive driver autograph session.

Tickets for the Rolex 24 At Daytona are available at the gate or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.