Benson's crew chiefs thinking about Daytona

Only a few days after running the final restrictor plate race of the season at Talladega, most would think superspeedway racing is the last thing on the mind of a NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief. That is far from true. ...

Only a few days after running the final restrictor plate race of the season at Talladega, most would think superspeedway racing is the last thing on the mind of a NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief.

That is far from true.

#10 Aaron's Pontiac Crew Chief James Ince has spent several hours around the Harrisburg, N.C. shop of MB2 Motorsports this week thinking about the superspeedway car the team begins building in two weeks in preparation for the 2001 season that begins in Daytona in just 16 weeks. Planning is mandatory for all Winston Cup crew chiefs in order to show up at each of the 36 events in 2001 with the specific race car and back-up car needed for success. All this planning occurs while teams remain focused on upcoming races at Rockingham on Sunday followed by Phoenix, Homestead, and Atlanta.

James Ince On Long-term Preparation:

"We are always working at least two weeks ahead in the shop and planning about six months ahead. If you are working two weeks ahead and for some reason you get behind a week you are still a week ahead. So, preparation is everything in this sport. You can't afford to get behind. If you do you start having to work your guys too much, your cars aren't what you want and it all shows on the track.

"For instance, in the shop we aren't even thinking about Rockingham this weekend. That stuff is already done. All we have to do for Rockingham is get the crew there and the car there. In our minds that race is done and over with and we are moving on. What I'm really thinking about is the following week when we go to Homestead for a test. And then once the Homestead test is over, we start building our new speedway car for the 2001 Daytona 500. People find it hard to believe but we are already preparing for that race right now. But Johnny and I have talked about what we will need at Daytona because of the new rules you saw last Sunday and we hope to have those changes in our new car for Speedweeks."

James Ince On Off Season Goals:

"Our plans are up in the air right now because the shop we will use in 2001 is under construction. We are turning our cars around getting ready for next season. Usually over the winter something changes with the rules so, you make your best educated guess about what those rules are going to be and proceed with getting the cars ready. Our goal is to have five cars done and in primer before we leave for Christmas.

James Ince On Rockingham This Weekend:

"I wish I knew the secret to success at Rockingham. But, I'm not worried. We look forward to every race track now. Talladega was disappointing for us but in the same token, we had a car that could have won the race and was competitive all day long. It was just one of those circumstance deals where we were caught out by a yellow and couldn't make up our lap. We aren't scared to go to any race track at all right now. Our plan at Rockingham is to run hard, stay out of trouble, race the race track and continue to do all of the things we have been doing this year."

Johnny Benson On 2001 Preparation:

"All that stuff is James's job. My job is to hold the steering wheel at Rockingham this weekend. I focus on Rockingham while they worry about the future. We will talk about next season and I have input, but I can't lose sight of the fact that we still have four races to run this season. That's four more opportunities to win so there's no chance we are going to blow them off."

THE RACE: Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 Winston Cup Race #31 of 34 for the 2000 season

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson