HARRISBURG, N.C. (Nov. 22, 1999) Tyler Jet Motorsports announced Monday that NASCAR Winston Cup Series veteran Johnny Benson has agreed to drive for the team for the 2000 season. Benson, the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year, has spent...
HARRISBURG, N.C. (Nov. 22, 1999) Tyler Jet Motorsports announced Monday that NASCAR Winston Cup Series veteran Johnny Benson has agreed to drive for the team for the 2000 season. Benson, the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year, has spent the last two seasons behind the wheel of a Jack Roush Ford.
After missing the top-10 by one point and finishing 11th in the 1997 standings driving Pennzoil Pontiacs for team owner Chuck Rider, Benson's tenure with Roush was disappointing. After scoring three top-5s and 10 top-10s in his initial season, Benson logged only two top-10s this season.
Benson's association with Tyler Jet -- the former Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team -- will return the 1995 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division champion to the seat of a Pontiac, something the 36-year-old driver is excited about.
"Getting on board with Tyler Jet Motorsports is a great opportunity for me," said Benson, who also drove 13 NASCAR Busch Series races in 1999 for BACE Motorsports, with one top-10 finish. "They have a solid program in place with good cars and a great engine program.
"There's opportunity for a lot of people there and I'm looking forward to that. I'm also looking forward to getting back in a Pontiac. I had a lot of success in a Pontiac when I was at Bahari' Racing (with Rider). We missed the top-10 in points by just one point in 1997 and I think a return to Pontiac will give me a great shot in getting into the top-10 in 2000.
"That's something we definitely want to do next season, get back into the top-10 in points."
Tyler Jet Motorsports had some of its best runs of the 1999 season with interim driver David Green at the wheel of its 10-10-345 Pontiacs, including a Bud Pole effort for the Pennzoil 400 presented by Kmart at Homestead-Miami Speedway. 10-10-345 has not told team owner Tim Beverley it plans to return to the team in 2000.
"We think we have the equipment and believe Johnny is the driver to get us on the stage at the NASCAR Winston Cup banquet in New York at the end of next season," Beverley said. "To say we're looking forward to going to Daytona in February is an understatement. It is going to be a great year and a great situation for everyone involved. We're all looking forward to it."