Milwaukee: Winning team interview

JOHNNY BENSON , No. 23 TCUV Tundra, Bill Davis Racing Finished: 1st Can you talk about how you adjusted the truck in the middle of the race to be so strong for the end? "At the start of the race, we were really good. In the middle of...

JOHNNY BENSON , No. 23 TCUV Tundra, Bill Davis Racing
Finished: 1st

Can you talk about how you adjusted the truck in the middle of the race to be so strong for the end?

"At the start of the race, we were really good. In the middle of the race, we had some issues. We were just a little bit too loose. We didn't make a whole lot of adjustments -- one small one -- and it didn't go the way we wanted it to go. The last pit stop got us out front -- that's probably what won us the race. Trip Bruce (crew chief), he just builds me great, great race trucks to race every week. Once we got in that clean air and up front and we ran one or two corners under green when we went back after lightning, I felt I was going to be in pretty good shape. We didn't cruise. I still drove my butt off to make sure that once I got in lapped traffic I had a little bit of a cushion. It ended up being a great race for us."

Does it matter if you win after rain or on the track, and what does it mean to win three in a row at Milwaukee?

"It always matters when you win. It makes it pretty cool. It is a little overwhelming to be able to win three races here. It will sink in in a day or two. Milwaukee is not too far from where I grew up, just on the other side of the lake. It's just a neat place. I've won an ASA race here, I've come close in a (Nationwide Series) race before, but to win three truck races here in a row is just incredible, with two different people. We won one with Rick Ren, and two of them with Trip Bruce, in a different truck than what we ran the other two previous ones. We decided to bring something a little bit different because we were a little hard on it at Michigan even though we ran second. It's one of those things that you put in your mind, 'Man, do we really want to go there with a different truck? We've won two races there.' But, all of our trucks are pretty decent. Trip knows that. I know how they drive. And with Goodyear bringing a little bit different tire, the air on that truck might be a tad bit better even though it's a short track truck and we've won with it. It was the right call. There was no doubt that we had them more covered this year than we did last year, except for that middle part of the run. But when it came down to when it counted, we were pretty stout."

What does it mean for you to be leading the points at this point in the season?

"I think it's a huge plus to be leading the points right now, for sure. That's what our goal is -- to win the championship. That's what it's been the last two years. We've run second. We've run third. We've won a fair amount of races. I guess that's good. I think this year has definitely started off way better than it has the last two years, but we've had a couple issues too. But, we've been consistently fast, and that's really what you have to ask for -- to be fast. And then just make sure things play out the way you want them to play out as the race goes. For whatever reason, this place is a place I really, really like. I like how you drive it. I like how you slip around. Normally, it's really warm, and I think we have an advantage when it's hot out. I think all in all, we got a pretty good handle at this track at the moment. That's going to change probably the next time we come here. I thought it was going to change this time when we came here. I kind of know what the track needs. Really, just that one segment, was the only time we were off."

TRIP BRUCE , Crew Chief, No. 23 TCUV Tundra, Bill Davis Racing

Can you talk about the strategy of the race with your truck and the weather?

"I was a little nervous in the middle of the race because the set of tires, I guess were not as much grip. It chattered and it was loose. You could see on TV it was loose. What do you do after that? We try to make all of our sets the same, but the tires are real consistent, so if that set is bad, the next one might be bad, too. We went back to a set that was identical to what he started the race on. We put them on there, back to the way it was. He asked for a little track bar adjustment, and it was 'Game on' then. The guys getting him out first was key, for sure. I never too much into the aero thing here in Milwaukee, but the clean air no matter where we go helps. The pit stop was key for momentum, clean air and the sense of being in the lead with the end of the race coming up makes a big different."

-credit: toyota motorsports

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Series NASCAR Truck
Teams Bill Davis Racing