DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 14, 2000) -- Johnny Benson, who is hoping to make his fourth Daytona 500 start, got a taste of just how wild those 500 miles might be in the season's opening race this coming Sunday. With a new shock rule to adjust...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 14, 2000) -- Johnny Benson, who is hoping to make his fourth Daytona 500 start, got a taste of just how wild those 500 miles might be in the season's opening race this coming Sunday. With a new shock rule to adjust to, drivers are searching for that elusive balance between going fast and losing control in the tight drafting packs that define restrictor plate racing. Benson, who turned the 11th fastest lap of the session at 191.791 miles per hour, is confident that drivers will find the handle, but knows the learning process is still ongoing.
JOHNNY BENSON, NO. 10 TYLER JET MOTORSPORTS PONTIAC GRAND PRIX
...WAS PRACTICE A LITTLE CRAZIER THAN NORMAL:
"Heck no, this is Daytona. It's the first race. We've got to go out there and swap a little paint, and know where everybody stands. I don't know, but I think it's that way every year down here."
...ANY DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY THE CARS DRAFT THIS YEAR:
"Right now, I think the way the cars draft, they come up on guys so fast now that sometimes some of the moves are last minute and it makes them hard to see them coming. I've had it happen twice. I did that once. It's just a scenario where before, you used to be able to look in the mirror and pretty much predict where you were going to be 300 feet down the track. Right now, you're not totally sure. You could be looking in the mirror and think you're alright and the next thing you know, he's beside you. So, I think the draft like they want from years back where somebody can blast up there real fast is there. It's just that we need to be well aware that that is what's happening.
"It's a little crazy out there. I got into one little bumping match. It wasn't too bad, though. It was real slight. But, I saw two other guys hit pretty good. He got loose and he got into him - obviously not on purpose. If it wasn't those two guys they probably would have wrecked. But, they did a good job."
...HANDLING IN THE DRAFT:
"Right now, it's just a little tough, and I think everybody is experiencing that. I saw a lot of guys get loose down on the bottom and sliding up into guys right now in traffic. That's basically the first time everybody's been in the draft, and we've just got to figure out what to do to get rid of that. I think most of the guys will obviously fix that. We'll just have to wait and see until the next time we get out drafting.
...HOW HIS CAR FELT:
"The car is pretty good. The No. 10 Pontiac is doing real good right now. We need a little more time on the track. The shock package and the spring package just takes a little getting used to. We can't make some of those adjustments that we wanted to in the past. So, we just need to figure around that. Other than that, James Ince and the guys are doing a tremendous job. I think we'll have a good race car come Thursday."