Texas: Johnny Benson race report

JOHNNY BENSON CAPTURES A FOURTH PLACE FINISH IN THE LONE STAR STATE. Benson kept his ...

JOHNNY BENSON CAPTURES A FOURTH PLACE FINISH IN THE LONE STAR STATE.
Benson kept his #1 machine in the top-10 for most of the WinStar World Casino 400 and brought home his third top-5 of the season at Texas Motor Speedway.

FT. WORTH, TX. (June 5, 2009)- Just as the summer is starting to heat up, so is Johnny Benson and his Red Horse Racing team. All the team needed was just a little luck and they would rope in a win in the Lone Star State. Benson and his #1 Toyota Tundra were strong right from the drop of the green flag. He ran in the top-10 for much of the 167-lap event and looked to be a contender for the win late in the race. With only two fresh tires instead of four on the final stop, Benson wasn't able to reach the leader but was happy to bring home a fourth place finish after two consecutive races of finishing outside the top-20. The top-five finish didn't just boost morale, Benson also moved up three spots in the series driver point standings. He now sits seventh.

After two practice sessions on Thursday afternoon, the #1 Red Horse Racing team felt confident their truck could find its way to Victory Lane on Friday night. Benson put his Tundra in the 15th starting spot but didn't waste any time working his way to the front. When the green flag dropped under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway, Benson had gained four spots in just three laps. He reported the truck was loose in but pretty good off the corners. Just a few laps later he told the team he was losing grip in the rear of the truck.

Benson broke into the top-10 on lap 18 but was fighting an increasingly loose condition in his truck. After running 22 laps, Benson reported that the looseness was giving way to a tight condition. The caution flag flew on lap 41 and Benson headed to pit road on lap 42 for four fresh tires and an air pressure adjustment. He returned the next lap for fuel and a shock adjustment. Quick work on pit road put Benson in the fifth spot for the restart.

During the next long green flag run, Benson slipped back to the seventh spot early on but then reclaimed the fifth spot as his truck seemed to come alive the more laps he ran. Still loose, Benson and his crew chief, Trip Bruce discussed making a track bar adjustment on the next pit stop.

With no caution flag in sight and in need of fuel, Benson hit pit road under green flag conditions on lap 101. He took four fresh ties the first time by and then returned the next lap for fuel and a track bar adjustment. He blended back on the track in the 13th spot but as the green flag spots cycled through, Benson moved up to eighth.

Benson was running the fastest laps on the track but because all the competitors were so spread out, it was very difficult to pick up positions. The caution came out on lap 122 and Benson once again brought his #1 Red Horse Racing machine to pit road. Bruce opted to give Benson only two right side tires to pick up track position. He came back in the next lap for fuel. The gamble for track position worked and Benson restarted third.

When the green flag flew it didn't take Benson long to claim the second spot. He reported that his truck was getting tighter, most likely as a result of having two new tires and two older tires. Benson slipped back as the truck got tighter, eventually settling in the fourth spot. He held on for the final laps, and finished the WinStar World Casino 400 in the fourth spot. It marked the fourth top-10 finish for the team and moved Benson from 10th to seventh in the Camping World Truck Series point standings.

The NASCAR Camping World Series will head to Brooklyn, Michigan this week. The Michigan 200 at Michigan International Speedway is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, June 13th. It will be televised on Speed at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

-credit: rhr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Johnny Benson
Teams Red Horse Racing