Bristol: Johnny Benson preview

Valvoline & Army teams keeps eye on current events. Nascar Winston Cup teams' travel plans are set for upcoming races at Bristol, Texas, Talladega, Martinsville, and California. However, many are inquiring whether a potential war in Iraq will ...

Valvoline & Army teams keeps eye on current events.

Nascar Winston Cup teams' travel plans are set for upcoming races at Bristol, Texas, Talladega, Martinsville, and California. However, many are inquiring whether a potential war in Iraq will alter the sport in any way. So far, plans have not changed for Johnny Benson's Valvoline team. But team officials are paying attention to the news and plan to keep in close touch with Nascar if events warrant.

Until then Benson and his teammates will concentrate on the job at hand and that's tackling Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Benson finished second at this race in 2000. He is currently tied for 10th with Elliott Sadler in the 2003 point standings.

Jay Frye, General Manager Valvoline Racing/MB2 Racing:

"So far, we haven't changed anything regarding travel or accommodations for the upcoming races. We take a private charter for both the Valvoline and Army teams to most of the races so we won't be impacted if something were to happen with commercial airline travel. Really, we are just in a wait-and-see mode like the rest of America. We will take all of our direction from Nascar. We haven't talked, but I have every confidence Nascar will be prepared for whatever happens. I know they will have things worked out if something needs to be done.

"Our teams are very close to the US Army. We are very proud to be part of the Army of One. Americans should feel very fortunate to have so many brave men and women defending our freedom. The sacrifices our soldiers make put our 36-race season in perspective. We are very proud of our soldiers and wish them well."

Johnny Benson:

"Sure we are paying attention to what's going on. I'm suppose to go to Fort Bragg next month to see the troops over there and I spent a couple days on the USS Enterprise a few years ago as they were coming home from the Middle East. I got a whole new perspective on just how professional our military guys are. I flew in some of their planes, ate with them, slept on the ship and hosted some of the guys at the track. It was something I will never forget. We even toured the USS Cole that later got bombed in the Middle East. You know you can see something on the news and you know that it is sad what happened, but when you have seen the ship and met the guys it takes on a whole new perspective. Ever since then I've kind of paid attention to what's going on with them.

"People sometimes think race car drivers are heroes but I look at us as people who get a chance to do what they love. Our military guys are the real heroes because they do what they do for love of their country. I hope they get their jobs done soon and come back home."

Benson On Bristol:

"Everyone looks forward to Bristol except maybe the body guys for each team. You won't hear a word about aero-push or aero-matching or anything like that during Bristol weekend. Bristol is about racing with a little beating and banging. The key to Bristol is patience. We get there Friday and (Crew Chief) James (Ince) starts talking to me about patience. He mentions it a few times on Friday, then a few more times Saturday afternoon, some Sunday morning and then in the race he works it into the radio conversation as well. I get so tired hearing that I'm suppose to be patient, but he 100 percent right. At Bristol it is real easy to get in a hurry and get in a wreck or get wrecked. The patient guy usually does well in the end."

-vmb2m-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson , Elliott Sadler