Englishtown: Bob Benza preview

Benza hungry for some home cooking. ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 17) -- Pro Stock driver Bob Benza is hoping for a breakout race at his home track this weekend as the 23-event POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for...

Benza hungry for some home cooking.

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (May 17) -- Pro Stock driver Bob Benza is hoping for a breakout race at his home track this weekend as the 23-event POWERade Drag Racing Series returns to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for the Matco Tools SuperNationals. Benza, a 42-year-old bridge builder from Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., is no stranger to success at this facility having won the Competition Eliminator class here in 1986.

Now competing in the toughest bracket in all of professional racing -- Pro Stock -- where the 16-car elimination field is routinely separated by less than three hundredths of a second, Benza will try to ride his local knowledge to his first successful qualifying effort of the young season.

^ÓWe unveiled a new car this year and so far we^Òve been working out the various nuances you always seem to encounter,^Ô Benza said. ^ÓWe really started to show some potential at the last race in Atlanta but missed the best qualifying session and the best conditions due to rain. This weekend looks to be the same with scattered showers in the forecast so we^Òll need to be ready to capitalize on our opportunities.^Ô

Benza will be flying the colors of a new associate sponsor this weekend as after-market customization specialists AI Design join the BNB Racing team. ^ÓHopefully we can get them some attention,^Ô Benza said. ^ÓThe key will be for us to run well, which is what we^Òve been working on all year. I^Òm confident in my crew chief Billy Wagner, and crewmen Andy Enax and Tom Vollbrecht, and I^Òm excited about getting on the race track and seeing how well we^Òll stack up against the rest of the field.

^ÓWe^Òve been making progress every lap and we seem to be closing in on a combo that will get us where we need to be. I think we^Òre all ready to have something happen that we can get excited about. This track is home to me. I^Òve probably raced here more than any other place so it would be something special to be racing here on Sunday.^Ô

Highlights of the qualifying sessions will air from 5-7 p.m. (ET), Saturday, on ESPN, with a repeat showing from 10 p.m.-Midnight (ET), Saturday on ESPN2. The elimination rounds will air from 7-10 p.m. (ET), Sunday, on ESPN2, with a rebroadcast from 2-4 p.m. (ET), Monday, also on ESPN2.

Founded in 1992, AI Design and master craftsman Matthew Figliola specialize in after-market customization for high-performance and luxury automobiles that includes enhancing overall driving performance, customizing the exterior styling, retooling the interior for maximum comfort, and customizing the electronics for individual needs. Visit them on the worldwide web at www.aidesign.com.

-mt-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Benza