BNS: Thunder Road: Travis Benjamin raceday notes

Travis Benjamin avoids accidents, finishes nineteenth at Thunder Road. Irving Oil Ford Taurus driver Travis Benjamin's NASCAR Busch North Series race at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Vermont was an action-packed 150 laps. Starting...

Travis Benjamin avoids accidents, finishes nineteenth at Thunder Road.

Irving Oil Ford Taurus driver Travis Benjamin's NASCAR Busch North Series race at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Vermont was an action-packed 150 laps. Starting 21st, he kept the sides of his car clean by avoiding the race's four accidents, and brought it home in nineteenth place.

Benjamin put up some good lap times in the afternoon practice, and looked forward to the qualifying session that would take place in the late afternoon. In time trials, though, Benjamin didn't pick up as much time as he expected and took the 21st starting position after turning a lap of 12.966 seconds (69.412 MPH).

"I think we have a good race car," he said afterwards. "We don't usually time trial well just because we don't change anything. I think that really hurt us today but the car's felt good all week. I tested yesterday over at White Mountain Motorsports Park and the car ran well there. Even after 150 laps, we were still pretty fast. I think the same thing will happen here today. We were running on old tires all day in practice. We were decent all day even though the left-side tire were junk. I need to pick up about a tenth. If we had picked that up in time trials, we would have been set.

"I just want to stay out of trouble in the race," Benjamin continued. "I'm starting inside so that should be a good thing. Hopefully ride for the first 100 laps and then stay on the lead lap."

In the race, Benjamin was surprised at how tight his car had become, and struggled to find speed. After going a lap down in the race's first third, he made a pair of yellow flag pit stops to adjust on the car and those helped, but not enough. Benjamin's ability to avoid accidents proved to be an asset, though, as many faster cars fell by the wayside and he continued to the finish, recording a nineteenth place finish.

"We had a real tight race car tonight," he said afterwards. "We were fast in practice, and we didn't change much, except for adjusting for the track tightening up. I guess we just didn't adjust enough. At least we were fast in practice. People were talking about me after practice, that's a good thing.

"We pitted to try to loosen the car up," he continued. "We took some wedge out one time and adjusted air pressure another time, but nothing seemed to help it out much. At least we tried. We'll have to go back to the books and figure out what to do now. On the plus side, the car's in good shape, there's not too much damage. We don't have that much work to do to get ready for the Irving Oil 150 next week."

The Irving Oil 150, originally scheduled for August 24th, had to be postponed to next Saturday after a persistent rain moved in after qualifying and washed out the balance of the program. The Beech Ridge Motor Speedway race will be run on September 7th with the field already set, Benjamin starting nineteenth.

-ajc-

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