Travis Benjamin settles for seventeenth at Seekonk Speedway. Travis Benjamin, who has won at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, Massachusetts in Pro Stock competition, was hoping for similar success this past Saturday in NASCAR Busch North Series ...
Travis Benjamin settles for seventeenth at Seekonk Speedway.
Travis Benjamin, who has won at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, Massachusetts in Pro Stock competition, was hoping for similar success this past Saturday in NASCAR Busch North Series competition. Piloting his Irving Oil/Mainway Ford Taurus, Benjamin struggled with an ill-handling car through a couple minor on-track incidents to finish seventeenth in the Budweiser 150.
Practice went well for the Morrill, Maine driver, and he was excited about the speed he was showing. But while preparing for qualifying, the setup was changed and the car didn't respond to Benjamin's liking, and he could only manage the 22nd fastest qualifying time.
"Practice was great, I was real excited because we were fast," he said. "But then we tried doing a few of the things to help us in time trials. We put some gear to it and dropped the panhard bar and did a few little things like that, and it didn't help us any. We slowed down two tenths from practice to time trials, so instead of starting up front we had to start in back, and it's not good to start in the back."
Benjamin's race got off to a tough start when, right on the initial green flag, Jarod Robie, who was starting directly in front of Benjamin, did not come up to speed. Benjamin tried to avoid him but the two collided, leaving Robie spun on the frontstretch and Benjamin with some nose damage to his car.
Benjamin was involved in a second skirmish early in the race when he tangled with Bryon Chew as the two were trying to avoid Dave Darling's spinning car. All drivers continued in the race after this incident. But the car was still not handling to Benjamin's liking and, despite a pit stop made at the race's halfway point for adjustments, the speed just wasn't there and Benjamin had to settle for a seventeenth place finish.
"At the start of the race, I think Jarod must have missed a shift," Benjamin said after the race. "He took off and then all of a sudden he just came back to me. But the car was just awful in the race. We pitted once to try and fix it, but it didn't really help it any. After the race we found out we had a flat tire. It must have been a slow leak, and that couldn't have helped the car at all.
"We're missing something," Benjamin continued. "Whenever I've raced before, I've run a lot in the top five or top ten. We haven't been able to do that right now. I don't know what's missing, but we're going to get it figured out before too long."
Following a week off, the Benjamin Motorsports team will take on Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, for the Busch North Series' fifth race of the 2002 season. Benjamin is looking forward to racing in his home state.
"We ran all right at Beech Ridge last year," he said. "We didn't run spectacular, but we were right in the thick of things. I think we'll be all right there this year."