Michigan John Benson preview

Driver's Mom Monitors Son's Race Each Sunday with Radio, Television And = Scorecard It might be the most terrifying thing in life or it might prove to = be the most rewarding. But, being the mother of a NASCAR Winston Cup = driver sure isn't ...

Driver's Mom Monitors Son's Race Each Sunday with Radio, Television And = Scorecard

It might be the most terrifying thing in life or it might prove to = be the most rewarding. But, being the mother of a NASCAR Winston Cup = driver sure isn't boring. Just ask Judy Benson. Few women are more = prepared to deal with the trials and tribulations that racing creates = for family members. Benson has been watching loved ones race since 1956 = when then boyfriend and future husband John Benson started racing at = Michigan short tracks. In 1982 her only son "Little John" began running = dirt tracks around their Grand Rapids home. "Little John" is known to = most race fans as Johnny Benson whose 200-mph exploits this season has = kept his mother on the edge of her seat. Each weekend when Benson isn't = at racetracks she sits in the living room of her Grand Rapids home with = the television and radio keeping track of her son with a score sheet or = talk with her daughter Barb who runs her brother's fan club.

Judy Benson On Watching Son Versus Husband Race:

"When (husband) John and I started dating I thought racing was = exciting. I didn't give it much thought. We were the same age and I knew = he was good and there were no worries. But, when your son starts racing = that is different. I've been in the sport and knew the dangers. Yes, = there have been lots of safety innovations, but you still worry no = matter what. When he first started, he was on tracks that weren't so = fast and I wasn't worried, but as he progressed to faster and faster = tracks then the concern is greater. I think I would have been better if = I knew nothing about racing. Then you wouldn't know of all the dangers. = When he first started, I separated myself from the other mothers just = because I knew that their sons had a lot of experience and Little John = had none. I didn't want to hear any criticism."

Where Do You Watch Races:

"I go to about 10 races a year. Most of the time friends and I sit = in the stands. His Dad stays in the pits or spots for the team on the = backstretch. It's funny to see the fans reaction when they find out who = I am. Do I cheer? Well, yes. At Bristol this year when he was running = second in the final laps I was screaming like it was a Saturday night = short track. The way I was yelling, I think everyone sitting anywhere = near us knew that I was his mother. At home, I watch with the television = on and when they go to commercial I turn on the radio. I keep a = scorecard also so I know where he is in the race."

Do You Get Nervous:

"Sure I get nervous. The restrictor plate races are the toughest. = You worry about your son's safety. But, I get just as nervous especially = when he runs up front. When he was running in the back you hoped he = would run up front. When he is running in the front you hope he wins. = The closer he gets to the front the more nervous I get. It's funny but = at Daytona this year when he was leading 38 laps I wasn't nervous. I was = hoping there wouldn't be a yellow because I knew what would happen. = Bristol was different. I was nervous about almost winning. I knew he had = a real chance there."

Do You Wish He Were In Other Sports:

"I don't know anything about other sports. We are a racing family."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson