HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2007) -- After scoring his fourth win of the season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event Friday night, Johnny Benson was hoping for more success in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race Sunday. Unfortunately, an issue...
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2007) -- After scoring his fourth win of the season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event Friday night, Johnny Benson was hoping for more success in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race Sunday. Unfortunately, an issue with the engine ended the night early for the Bill Davis Racing team, which was credited with a 43rd-place finish in the event.
Sitting outside the top 35 in the NEXTEL Cup Series owners' point standings, Benson and the 360 OTC Racing team were forced to make the field for Sunday's event based on speed. Benson was the 42nd of 49 competitors to take to the track for his qualifying run Friday afternoon. His speed of 174.560 mph around the 1.5-mile oval earned the team the 20th spot on the starting lineup for Sunday's event. Prior to qualifying, the team changed the engine in the No. 36 machine, so though the team earned itself a top 20 qualifying effort, Benson would be forced to start at the back of the pack for Sunday's event.
Benson lined up at the tail end of the field for the start of the Ford 400 and had worked his way into 31st spot by the time he made his way down pit road for the first pit stop of the day on lap 50. The team changed all four tires, filled the tank with fuel and made a track bar adjustment in an effort to loosen the handling of the car a bit. Unfortunately, just after Benson made his stop, the first caution flag of the day waved, which left the team two laps down to the leader, who had not yet stopped. Benson lined up for the lap 58 restart in 35th place.
Benson picked up several spots during the next 12 laps but reported to the crew that the motor felt like it was losing power. Several laps later, Benson was forced to drive his Toyota Camry into the garage area with terminal engine problems. Benson was credited with a 43rd-place finish when the checkered flag waved.