Johnny Benson to Test Wisnston West, Watch F1

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#10 Lycos Pontiac driver Johnny Benson will compete in 34 races plus drive in seven two-day test sessions for his Tyler Jet Motorsports team during the 2000 Winston Cup season. So what does he plan to do on his first off weekend since the NASCAR Winston Cup teams reported to Daytona on Feb. 9? Benson plans to go to a Winston West test in Fontana, Calif. on Tuesday and Wednesday then fly to Silverstone, England to attend Sunday's British Grand Prix Formula One race. Benson attended the Spanish Grand Prix in 1998.

Johnny Benson On His Busy Off Week:

"We race at Talladega on Sunday and fly back to Charlotte that night. Then Monday night we fly to California and test there Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday night I fly to London and get there Thursday and we are at the track Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I come back Monday afternoon then it's on to California on Wednesday for the Winston West race and the Winston Cup race. I know what you are going to say. We finally get an off weekend and it seems like I'm going to be jetting all over the world either testing or watching racing. But I'm looking forward to all of it. The Formula One race should be a lot more fun than testing. Testing is just one of those things that we have to do if we hope to do well. The Formula One race is all about having fun."

Why Are You Going To Fontana?

"Tyler Jet Motorsports is going to run the Winston West race that weekend when the Winston Cup cars are in Fontana. My crew chief James Ince thought it would be a great way to learn about the track and learn the car setups since the Winston West cars are so similar to the Winston Cup cars. But we wanted to make sure we went out there and tested before we entered the race. We are going to be #50 for that race. It's a pretty competitive series and we don't want to get embarrassed. I've never raced in a Winston West race so this will be a new for me."

Why Are You Going To The Formula One Race?

"It's just for fun. I get to be a fan this weekend. Drivers never get a chance to go party the night before the race and hang out like the fans do so now this weekend is my turn. The folks at Grand Prix Tours have always been good to me and I went to Spain two years ago and had so much fun that I wanted to go back. Formula One is about the only form of racing we get to see on television anymore because they televise those races on Sunday morning while everyone else races when we do. Its cool to watch Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher race Sunday mornings. Those cars are amazing. What I couldn't believe the last time we were there is how a Formula One car can go from almost 200 mph down to almost a complete stop in less than a second. Formula One is a lot different than what I am used to. I'm always going to prefer Winston Cup racing but it's hard to argue against a series whose drivers make from anywhere between $10 to $25 million a season in salary. That is pretty cool. I keep telling (car owner) Tim Beverley about that but all he does is look at me and laugh when I mention Schumacher's salary."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Mika Hakkinen , Johnny Benson