The last time Johnny Benson and his Tyler Jet Motorsports teammates visited Daytona they were racing together for the first time. The unsponsored team that some had not even picked to finish in the top 40 this season led 38 laps in the Daytona...
The last time Johnny Benson and his Tyler Jet Motorsports teammates visited Daytona they were racing together for the first time. The unsponsored team that some had not even picked to finish in the top 40 this season led 38 laps in the Daytona 500 and almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in NASCAR Winston Cup history. A late-race caution allowed five Fords to shuffle him out of the draft and back to 12th. Benson returns to Daytona this week hoping to lead those final three laps and visit Victory Lane. Benson celebrated his 37th birthday on Tuesday.
"Sure we talk about Daytona. But it's in the past. We ran good, surprised a lot of people, but we have gone on to have some really good runs since then. We finished sixth in Las Vegas and second in Bristol. We've also had some top five runs ruined because of mechanical problems or crashes. So it wasn't like Daytona was a fluke. Sure we would have wanted to win but it isn't like we obsess over Daytona. If we win then we will obsess over it. We are taking the same car to Daytona that we had here in the 500. Hopefully we will be just as good. Forget that, hopefully we will be even better this time. We are bringing the same white car back to help our spotters out. So everything is the same. We'll just have to see."
Would You Do Anything Different at Daytona?
"Yeah, keep the caution from coming out this time."
Why Did Fords Dominate At Daytona and Chevrolet At Talladega
"I think at Daytona the Fords are the car at the moment . Daytona is more of a handling track than Talladega. Talladega is all aerodynamics and the Chevrolet is a little better aerodynamically as far as drag goes compared to the Ford and Pontiac. That's why they ran well there. When we go back to Daytona this week the cars with the best downforce package with no drag will be the best deal. Seems like it should be the Pontiac's turn to sweep the top five spots. That would be fun."
Will Pontiac Rule Changes Have An Impact At Daytona:
"I'm not sure if the rule change will have much impact this weekend on a superspeedway as it might show up on the intermediate tracks. I mean I hope it helps. But really we don't know."
Is There A Difference Between This Race and February Race?
"First off there are 100 less miles and it's at night. But that is about it. There used to be a big difference between this race and the Daytona 500. There's not as big of a difference now because this is a night race. When we ran this in the daytime it was so hot and slippery that downforce mattered a heck of a lot more. The track still gets slippery. But because it is at night it's a little bit more consistent. Handling is still more important at this race but its not like it used to be. The night races on superspeedways have been great. As drivers we don't have to worry about the track changing as much like if the sun is out or not as we did during the daytime races. The track stays consistent and they have done a great job of lighting the track. Plus it gets us home for a day on Sunday."
Are There Drafting Partners?
"The only partners you really have are the guy in front of you and the guy behind you and that changes throughout the race. I don't care what anyone promises you before the race or on the team radios during the race. If they think they can help themselves they are going to forget about any agreement just as fast as they can." <pre> THE RACE: Pepsi 400 Winston Cup Race #17 of 34 for the 2000 season a.. Race: Saturday, July 1, 2000 in Daytona, FL
TV: CBS 8:00pm/et
Pre-Race: ESPN2 NASCAR 2Day 7:30pm/et July, 1, 2000
Posted Awards/Purse: $3,000,835
b.. 1999 Race Winner: Dale Jarett
c.. Race Speed Record: Bobby Allison, 1980, 173.473
Track/Race Length: 2.5 mile trioval, 160 laps, 400 miles
Pit Road Speed: 65mph
d.. Practice: Thursday, June 29th 3:00 - 6:00pm/et; Friday, June 30th 3:00 - 5:30pm/et
e.. Happy Hour Practice: Friday, June 30th, 8:00 - 9:00pm/et, TV-none
f.. Qualifying Draw: Thursday, June 29th at ?:??pm/et
g.. First Round Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 1-25, Thursday, June 29th at 8:00pm/et, TV-ESPN2 live and via MRN radio/internet
h.. NASCAR Online will have live lap-by-lap coverage of Winston Cup qualifying via the web
i.. Second-Round Qualifying: 2 laps for positions 26th-43rd, Friday, June 30th at 6:30pm/et
j.. Track Qualifying Record: Bill Elliott, Feb 1987, 210.364mph
k.. Race Qualifying Record: Sterling Marlin, July 1986, 203.666mph(before restrictor plates)
l.. Race Qualifying Record: Davey Allison, July 1987, 198.085mph(after restrictor plates)
m.. Last Year's Pole Sitter: Joe Nemechek, 194.860mph
Track Specs: Superspeedway: 2.5-mile trioval 40 feet wide with 12- to 30-foot apron Turns: Banking: 31 degrees, Length: 3,000 feet Radius: 1,000 feet Trioval: Banking: 18 degrees (at start/finish line) Frontstretch: Chute length: 1,900 feet (from turn to middle of trioval) Total length: 3,800 feet Banking: Minimal for drainage only Backstretch: Length: 3,000 feet, Banking: Minimal for drainage only Pit Road: Length: 1,600 feet Width: 50 feet