BNS: Stafford II: Travis Benjamin raceday notes

Travis Benjamin's Stafford Motor Speedway race yields nineteenth place finish. Travis Benjamin's Irving Oil Ford Taurus made the second of three visits to Stafford Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Busch North Series. Benjamin, who finished...

Travis Benjamin's Stafford Motor Speedway race yields nineteenth place finish.

Travis Benjamin's Irving Oil Ford Taurus made the second of three visits to Stafford Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Busch North Series. Benjamin, who finished sixteenth at Stafford in the first race last month, struggled with a car he and his Benjamin Motorsports team couldn't quite get the handle on, leaving him nineteenth in the final results.

Benjamin's Friday started with qualifying, where he was eighteenth fastest in a field of twenty-six cars.

"The car's good," he said after his time trial effort. "We didn't qualify as well as I hoped, but I think we have a good car. It was a little bit loose in time trials, but it was tight all day in practice, so I was happy to see that. The track's going to cool down, hopefully the track tightens up then, and I think we're going to be all right."

Benjamin held his own as the race opened up, and took advantage of a lap 33 caution to come to the pits and make a chassis adjustment to the car. A second stop, on lap 44, saw the crew replace the right-side tires. On the track, he ran a smooth, steady race without incident and brought the car home in nineteenth.

"I started out the race pretty good, going to the front there, I'm pretty excited about that," he said. "But it faded again. I don't know why, but once the tires get heated up, it falls off. We need to figure out why. We're definitely going to test some more, at Beech Ridge where I normally run pretty decent."

Benjamin was still a bit puzzled over the car's handling woes.

"Some weeks it gets tight and some weeks it gets loose," he said. "It does not seem to be consistent. We might have to make some serious changes with our setup and see what's going to happen. We had been running pretty decent for a few weeks, but it's dropped off from there."

Next on Benjamin's schedule is a weekend off, followed by a return trip to Watkins Glen. In last year's Glen race, Benjamin made his first road racing performance a memorable one, picking up both Rookie of the Race and Flowmaster Star of the Race awards, finishing eighteenth.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Watkins Glen," he said. "We'll have the other car for that one. That should be a fun race, and we ran decent there last year in the race. We're excited to go there."

-ajc-

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Series NASCAR