[The following are facts and figures regarding the chassis Pontiac teams will be running this weekend during the NASCAR Winston Cup event at New Hampshire International Speedway.] 10 Johnny Benson enters his second race of the 2000 season...
[The following are facts and figures regarding the chassis Pontiac teams will be running this weekend during the NASCAR Winston Cup event at New Hampshire International Speedway.]
Johnny Benson enters his second race of the 2000 season with an unsponsored car, ranked 18th in the Winston Cup standings - 51 points out of the 15th position. The chassis Benson runs this weekend was new when it earned a 25th place finish at Richmond back in May.
Rick Mast last drove this chassis at Michigan, where he finished 30th. From there, it went straight to the wind tunnel where crew chief Philippe Lopez saw several things he didn't like. The body has been re-done and the team feels that this will be a more competitive car this weekend at New Hampshire.
This version of the Interstate Batteries Pontiac has not yielded much this year to the Winston Cup points leader. Bobby Labonte drove to a 12th place finish at Martinsville after spinning late in the race, and then collected a 26th at Richmond following a three-car incident that also involved Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon.
Tony Stewart owns an impressive average finish of 4.8 over his last five starts this season, including five straight top 10s. Part of that run features a sixth at Pocono with this chassis. Stewart, who is eighth in the Winston Cup standings, also drove this Home Depot Grand Prix to a second at Las Vegas.
Caterpillar Pontiac driver Ward Burton has been solid with this chassis in 2000, posting an 11th at Martinsville and a sixth at Richmond. Burton, who sits fourth in the Winston Cup point standings, will need a good run this weekend to protect the 33 point lead he maintains over his brother Jeff.
Mike Bliss has quite a bit of experience at New Hampshire in a truck, but will have to find a way to make the transition to a Winston Cup car here this weekend. The chassis behind his effort is brand new.
Ken Schrader's second best performance of the 2000 season came with this chassis at Richmond when he finished 12th. Schrader stands as the only driver to sweep both poles at New Hampshire, accomplishing that feat in 1997.
Petty Enterprises has earned three career wins with this chassis, the last coming with John Andretti in 1999 at Martinsville. Andretti has driven this car twice this season at both Martinsville and Richmond. His best finish with it in 2000 is a 14th (Martinsville).
New Hot Wheels Pontiac crew chief Fred Graves takes over at the racetrack this week with a chassis that finished 28th its last time out at Richmond. Graves replaces interim chief Doug Hewitt, who returned to his role in research and development at Petty Enterprises.
Rookie Dave Blaney and his teammates are slowly improving and becoming more consistent in their first full season together. Their last five races have resulted in no finishes outside the top 30, while the five previous resulted in five outside it. Blaney brings his Richmond chassis here this weekend for his second career New Hampshire start.