Darlington II: Johnny Benson preview

Benson on Darlington changes Sunday's race marks the final Labor Day race weekend at Darlington Raceway. Next year's race will be in November while the California Speedway hosts the Labor Day weekend race. The changes at historic Darlington...

Benson on Darlington changes

Sunday's race marks the final Labor Day race weekend at Darlington Raceway. Next year's race will be in November while the California Speedway hosts the Labor Day weekend race. The changes at historic Darlington might symbolize the shifting direction of the sport with an emphasis on bigger markets. That has created mixed feelings among drivers, teams and fans.

#10 Valvoline Pontiac driver Johnny Benson grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich. watching the Darlington races on television. Like most he has mixed feelings about the changes. Benson has top 14 finishes in the last three oval races and would love to be the last driver to own a Labor Day weekend trophy from Darlington.

Johnny Benson:

On Final Labor Day Weekend Race:

"Yeah it's disappointing. I mean racing at Darlington on Labor Day was a tradition in our sport that I knew about even before I came down here to race. I hate it when we change tradition, but I understand the need for getting us out to California twice. I'm glad we are exposing our sport to new and more fans. But I also hope we always remember the people that got us to where we are today."

What Would Winning The Final Labor Day Weekend Race Mean?

"Winning any race in this series is big these days. So, I'm not going to be picky. We will take a win any place and any time. But yeah, winning this weekend would put you in the history books. There are a lot of great drivers who have won this race over the years and to be the last guy to win the Labor Day race would be pretty cool."

Will Darlington Be Any Different Next Year In November?

"The obvious answer I guess is the cooler weather. The cooler weather will help the track. That should be better for the drivers as far as grip on the race track. We might be a bit faster with the added grip. Look, they could run it on Christmas Day and Darlington will be the same old tough Darlington it's always been."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson