Benson PR man to do Richmond National Anthem

The shoe will be on the other foot Saturday night when the NASCAR Winston Cup cars get ready to race at Richmond International Raceway. ...

The shoe will be on the other foot Saturday night when the NASCAR Winston Cup cars get ready to race at Richmond International Raceway.

#10 Aaron's Pontiac driver Johnny Benson plans to take special interest in the National Anthem played on the saxophone by Al Larsen - Pontiac's media relations representative in the Winston Cup series as well as Benson's friend.

"After each qualifying run or race, as soon as I get out of the car, whether we've run good or terrible, Al's there with a tape recorder asking me to explain what I did right or what I did wrong," laughed Benson. "So right after the national anthem Saturday night, if there is time, I hope to get a tape recorder in front of him and let him see how it feels.

"We are trying to figure out ways to put more pressure on Al but we haven't come up with too many ideas other than that. We told him the jets were going to do their fly-over in the middle of the anthem and drown him out. He's a little nervous so we are going out of our way to make it worse for him."

Larsen, in his first year with Pontiac, is responsible for interviewing each of the Pontiac drivers each weekend and supplying the media with quotes. When he isn't working, Larsen often plays the saxophone at a downtown Charlotte nightspot, where Benson is a regular visitor.

"Al's actually pretty good. We go watch him play just to get away from racing for a few hours. I've always enjoyed music and have dabbled with the guitar just a little bit. Saturday night it's going to be a lot of fun being and fan and watching Al have to perform in front of all those people."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson