Charlotte II: Johnny Benson preview

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#10 Valvoline Pontiac driver Johnny Benson likes this weekend's new night racing schedule at Lowes Motor Speedway. Benson said the Charlotte race for the NASCAR Winston Cup race teams is kind of like a high school or college football team's homecoming game. The stands are full of friends and what they see Saturday night will be talked about around town for several months. Benson said a win at Charlotte could make a season. He said his team is targeting the final few races for a victory like they did last season by winning Rockingham. Benson was running third Sunday when he was involved in a collision with Dale Earnhardt Jr. during a caution. The Valvoline team announced today that Jay Guy will serve as Benson's crew chief for the remainder of the 2003 season.

Benson On Qualifying at Night:

"That is going to be cool. In more ways than one. I mean it will look neat for the fans and on television and the way the weather has been lately, I think that means you will see some pretty fast times. I figure you will see a track record. We didn't test there but from what I hear the speeds were pretty fast.

"Charlotte will be fun. This is where most of us live and our wives and families and friends you see around town every day will all be there. I guess it's kind of like wanting to do well in your Homecoming game in high school or college. This is a big race for us. You can make a good season great by winning there."

Do You Like The New Charlotte Schedule:

"I love the change. I wish we raced all of our races on Saturday night. That gives the crew guys an extra day off and for the fans I think night racing is just a lot more exciting. Somehow, everything looks faster at night."

Are Teams As Focused Now As They Were At The Start Of The Season?

"Yes I know we are. Sunday was one of our best runs of the season. Sure we are tired and could use another weekend off like everyone else. But, I can only speak for our team. We are totally focused. We won at Rockingham at the end of last year. Finishing off the season with a win or two would make anyone's year. It would be easy to say yeah we are frustrated and let's just get through the season and move on to next year. But we are racers, we would race golf carts in the motor home lot if they let us. We are focused on winning. Plus, if you do well at the end of this year it makes the off season a lot better and you go in sky high for Daytona next season. I'd take a win at any point in the season. A win is a win no matter when it comes."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson