Johnny Benson will resume his driving duties in the ...
Johnny Benson will resume his driving duties in the #10 Valvoline Pontiac beginning at this weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup race at Pocono, Pa.
Benson returns to the driving seat after missing the Chicago and New Hampshire races following a July 6 accident in Daytona. Benson broke three ribs in that accident.
Mike Wallace substituted for Benson at Chicago and Jerry Nadeau drove at New Hampshire.
Sunday's Pocono race marks the second time this season Benson will make a return from rib injuries at the triangle-shaped track. Benson missed three races after a May 3 accident in a Busch race at Richmond where he suffered two cracked and one broken rib.
Benson made his return at Pocono finishing 20th in June. He finished fifth at this Pocono race last year.
Benson On His Return:
"I'm not rushing. I'm ready to get back in the race car. You are always going to have people questioning whether it is too early or not. But, health wise I'm ahead of where I was last time when I got back in the car. I don't think my health will be an issue this weekend. We aren't even going to have a back up driver. We are just going to go to Pocono with the plans on running well then we are going to Indianapolis, Watkins Glen and the rest of the races with the same goal.
"I want to think Mike and Jerry. It's a tough role to fill in for somebody and both of them did a really good job for us. They drove the car, went to Valvoline hospitalities and did the whole works for me while I was out."
Benson On The Injury:
"I'm feeling good. I have a few more broken ribs than the first time but it's different. I have a lot more mobility and have felt better every day since Daytona. These ribs are definitely different than the ones I hurt at Richmond. The Richmond accident broke one in the back and cracked two in the front. These from Daytona are all in the front. It's in a little different spot, but the feel isn't as bad as far as the first time."
"Pretty much the same thing I did the first time. That's get in the swimming pool and cruise around there. They don't want me lifting any weights or anything like that. There really isn't a whole lot you can do except let them heal and get in the pool and move around. Racing is the best therapy and the most fun for curing broken ribs."
What Happened in the Daytona Wreck?
"We aren't sure why I broke ribs. The only thing we do know is that both of those wrecks in which I have broken ribs were extreme hits even though it may not look like it on television. There were bad hits. Both were a deal where the car went into the wall with the right front then slapped the side of the car. It was a severe hit. We will do some testing and find out what happened. We are running the right seats and the belts."
"We can say we have had a frustrating year for sure. This has been difficult because we haven't done a whole lot wrong. We have had wrecks that shouldn't have happened. We got hit at both places. Unfortunately it did and I got hurt. It's hard to say this is part of the sport because this is the first time in my career I have had to miss a race because of injury. But what are you going to do."