First lap wreck ruins Travis Benjamin's Watkins Glen race. Travis Benjamin, who enjoyed a good run at the Watkins Glen road course last year during his NASCAR Busch North Series rookie season, returned to the track looking for an even better run.
First lap wreck ruins Travis Benjamin's Watkins Glen race.
Travis Benjamin, who enjoyed a good run at the Watkins Glen road course last year during his NASCAR Busch North Series rookie season, returned to the track looking for an even better run. But his involvement in a first lap accident put his Irving Oil Ford behind the wall for repairs, eventually to return to the track. A broken oil line spelled the end of his day, though, relegating him to a 24th place finish.
Benjamin, in the European-style qualifying session, recorded the 22nd fastest lap time. He had a decision on his hands afterwards.
"The gear ratios in the transmission aren't right and we're not as fast as we could be because of it," he said. "We have to decide if we want to spend the money to fix it for the two road course races we run. If we want to run well, we have to. It could be the difference between running twentieth and running tenth. We have a real good car, but we qualified 22nd because of the gears and I ran into traffic for two or three laps. It might have cost us two or three spots. Our gear ratios are what hurting us the most. We're not too bad, the car feels really good. We're having a lot of fun, and that's what it's all about."
Benjamin's race was only a few turns old before it was over. Running side-by-side with Scott Bouley through the left-hand turn heading out of the Esses, the two bumped and Bouley spun in front of the field. Benjamin slowed to avoid the accident but was hit from behind and pushed into what became a thirteen-car accident. Benjamin's car was brought to the garage area on a flatbed truck and repairs began to get it back in the race.
Reappearing just fourteen laps down, Benjamin was the first of the accident cars to return to the race. He only completed ten laps before an oil line broke and he came back in for repairs, but the damage was done and his race was over. He was classified as 24th in the final rundown.
"I don't really know what happened to start that accident, it happened so quickly," he said after the race. "The 26 checked up and I ended up getting into him. I got up beside the 26 [Bouley] and I thought he chopped me off, but maybe I came up, I don't know. I apologize to everybody if it was my fault.
"Everybody just started piling into each other because the track was totally blocked," Benjamin continued. "There really was no place to go. I got hit from behind, spun around and I got tagged in the right front corner. It didn't really do a whole lot to our car, but we broke an oil line after we came back."
Benjamin had nothing but praise for his Benjamin Motorsports crew, which came together to try and get its driver back in the race.
"These guys support me 100%," he said. "They worked their butts off just trying to get me out for some more laps. They're great. They never stopped, they never got discouraged even when I got discouraged. That's great to have on your side."
Benjamin will return to the track next Saturday when the Busch North Series makes its first trip to the Adirondack International Speedway in Beaver Falls, New York.