Rockingham II: Johnny Benson preview

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#10 Valvoline Pontiac driver Johnny Benson has pleasant memories of last year's race at the North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham race. It resulted in Benson's first career victory. The day included a meeting of the Johnny Benson Fan Club that saw about 100 of the 6,700 members visit with Benson in a hospitality tent before the race.

Benson plays hosts to his fan club meeting again on Sunday and hopes he can put on the same type of performance during the race. Rockingham might be Benson's favorite track and with a productive tire test at Homestead last week he hopes to end his tenure in the #10 car on a high note at the final two races.

Rockingham:

"Last year's win was great, but with what has been going on here lately another win at Rockingham would be even better. We have had it circled on the calendar for a while. Heck, we have even talked about how we would celebrate if we were lucky enough to win again. It will be something you have never seen before. We are motivated. We want to win. This team has been together for four years and we want to win Rockingham or Homestead just as much as we wanted to win Daytona when we first started. That would be going out in style."

"I like Rockingham. Obviously, part of it is that it's fast and kind of medium banked which fits my driving style. The other part is something I can't explain. I just feel comfortable there. We clinched the Busch Series title there in 1995 and then to get our first Cup victory makes Rockingham a really special place to me."

Fan Club Meeting At Rockingham:

"Yeah we started a deal last year where we invited everyone in the fan club to Rockingham. Last year it worked perfectly. They had a hospitality tent so I hung out there Sunday morning and then we won the race with all of them sitting in the stands. My sister Barb runs the fan club and does a really good job. If you are ever feeling down or frustrated with what is going on at the track you go to one of those type of things and walk out of there feeling a lot better. I think that is true with all drivers. The fans can really lift you up sometimes."

How Has Your Life Changed Since Rockingham Last Year?

"It hasn't changed much. I sure get asked about it a lot and that's great. I got tired of people asking when I was going to win. Now it seems like everyone asks when are we going to get that second one."

What Are Your Memories?

"I just remember racing hard there at the end and then the party we had afterward at the track and then back at our #10 shop. We had come so close so many times and the guys deserved that win. We say it all the time, but the fans need to know just how hard and how many hours those guys who work for these teams put in every week."

Only One Rockingham Race in 2004:

"I'd run ten races a year at Rockingham were it up to me."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson