Martinsville II: Johnny Benson preview

Benson like NFL's Terrell Owens. San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens scored a touchdown Monday night then bent over in the end zone to pull out a black marker he had stashed in his sock. Owens used the marker to autograph the...

Benson like NFL's Terrell Owens.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens scored a touchdown Monday night then bent over in the end zone to pull out a black marker he had stashed in his sock. Owens used the marker to autograph the football before handing it to a fan in the stands.

#10 Valvoline Pontiac driver Johnny Benson says what Owens did Monday night is just part of the routine for a Nascar Winston Cup driver. Like Owens, Benson considers the magic marker part of his drivers uniform and he carries one in his driving suit whenever he is at the race track.

Do You Keep A Marker With You At All Times?

"I keep one in the front pocket of my Valvoline uniform. Heck I've even had fans ask for my autograph while I'm sitting in the car. I've never thought about what would happen if it were to explode in my uniform. That wouldn't be cool because those uniforms are about $1,500 each. I consider the marker part of my uniform just like my driving shoes, helmet and gloves. I think I have about 100 of those markers in my drawer at home."

What Is The Weirdest Thing You Have Signed?

"I guess the wildest thing I've ever signed was a few years ago at one of my fan club meetings. This lady who was a big fan was undergoing chemotherapy treatment and she wanted me to sign her bald head. I was like "no way." But she insisted and I thought what the heck. You know as soon as I did it she started laughing and the whole place busted out laughing with her. That made her day and it made mine. It turned out to be something pretty cool. Sometime simple as that made her and everyone else feel better.

"I have signed sheet metal after a wreck, bowling balls, bowling pins, shirts, hats, pictures, helmet shields, trading cards, and I have heard other drivers talk about signing body parts and stuff like that. I'd never admit to that because I think my wife would kill me. But you do get a lot of interesting requests. I heard Richard Petty once signed a live duck. So I guess I have a ways to go to beat the King."

Are Autograph Requests Annoying?

"No as long as you aren't eating dinner with your family or something like that. If you are a driver and you are going to walk through the Winston Cup garage you better have a marker with you if you want to get where you are going. We have so many autograph seekers in the garage its just easier to take your own pen and sign as you are walking through the crowd. I like signing autographs for fans. It's kind of an honor when someone wants your autograph. It can slow you down so you come armed with your own marker and just start signing as you walk to where you are going. If you waited on the fans to dig their own markers out of their pockets or getting their pen to work you'd be there all day so it's easier to take your own."

-mbvm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson , Richard Petty