MILLER 400/RICHMOND, VA EVENT: Miller 400 Richmond International Raceway .75 mile track, 300 miles/400 laps 1997 winner: Dale Jarrett STARTING TIME: Saturday, Sept. 12, 7:30pm (ESPN) RADIO: MRN Radio BENSON AT ...
MILLER 400/RICHMOND, VA
EVENT: Miller 400 Richmond International Raceway .75 mile track, 300 miles/400 laps 1997 winner: Dale Jarrett
STARTING TIME: Saturday, Sept. 12, 7:30pm (ESPN) RADIO: MRN Radio
BENSON AT RICHMOND
YEAR SERIES EVENT ST/FN STATUS WINNINGS 1996 Winston Cup Pontiac 33/37 Running $17,215 Excitement 400 1996 Winston Cup Miller 400 35/10 Running $26,155 1997 Winston Cup Pontiac 23/9 Running $25,745 Excitement 400 1997 Winston Cup Exide Batteries 37/13 Running $27,125 400 1998 Winston Cup Pontiac 8/18 Running $30,450 Excitement 400
NOTES AND QUOTES
Johnny Benson took the second provisional to start 38th for the New Hampshire 300 on Sunday. Due to a slippery track Benson almost hit the wall during both qualifying rounds. While starting from the back, Benson and crew hoped for the good luck to avoid mishap and the set up to take them to the front. Although he gained two positions before the first round of pit stops the car was too tight, so Benson came in and took on four fresh tires, gas and a track bar adjustment to help loosen the car. With the fast work of the crew Benson went back out ahead of where he went in. With teammate and leader Mark Martin right behind, Benson tried for several laps to hold on so he wouldn't go a lap down. Martin's car was just too good and as a result Benson went a lap down. With the last round of pit stops approaching general manager Steve Hmiel made the call to only take on just right side tires. This strategy worked to put Benson further up the field and Benson beat all of the lapped cars out of the pits. Now in 22nd Benson was able to gain one more spot before the checkered flag waved. Benson finished 21st and is still 20th in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings.
Johnny Benson and his crew have a new interim crew chief this coming weekend. Steve Hmiel was let go of his duties on Sept. 1st and Ben Leslie will now be the acting crew chief of the No. 26 Cheerios racing team. Harry McMullen has replaced Steve Hmiel as the general manager of the No. 16 and No. 26 Winston Cup teams and the No. 60 Busch team.
"Some people really dislike Darlington, but I don't. It's a very challenging place. Each of the turns has a different radius and usually the track gets hot and greasy. I know it's a cliché, but you really have to race the track and not worry as much about who you are passing. We have always raced pretty well there and I really hope that doesn't change. I am looking forward to Ben Leslie being the new crew chief. He and I communicate very well together," Benson said.