Fontana: Robbie Benton preview

MOORESVILLE, NC- (September 17, 2003) -NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series newcomer Robbie Benton made his first series start at New Hampshire International Speedway last week and he found out one thing-flat tracks are not really his cup of tea. This...

MOORESVILLE, NC- (September 17, 2003) -NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series newcomer Robbie Benton made his first series start at New Hampshire International Speedway last week and he found out one thing-flat tracks are not really his cup of tea. This week the 24-year-old Charlotte, NC native is headed for a more familiar style of racetrack, fast, high banked with plenty of room to run two and three wide.

"Flat tracks are not really my style," Benton said. "While I was happy to make my first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start at New Hampshire I will be even happier to go to California. The racing surface is really smooth and you should be able to find a groove where your truck works well. Big fast racetracks with a lot of banking are more of what I am accustomed to. I have never raced at California but I have some experience at Michigan, which is very similar and I really enjoyed it. I think I will like California as well.

Benton and his Billy Ballew Motorsports team are optimistic about their West Coast swing. Their VOKAL Ford has performed well at intermediate racetracks. Crew chief Gary Showalter and his co-workers have put extra emphasis on tweaking the body of their Ford F-150 and Benton says that they have solid power underneath the hood.

"We have a Robert Yates engine so horsepower shouldn't be an issue, Benton said. "We have a really good body on this truck. What California Speedway demands in terms of performance we have covered. Billy Ballew, Gary Showalter and the guys on this team have worked so hard to make this program work. I really couldn't pick a better bunch of guys to go racing with. If I had to start a race team from scratch this is the bunch of guys I would pick to start one with."

Team owner Ballew sees promise in his organization. The key to continued growth is in increased support. From both the corporate side and the manufacturing aspect. Both sectors are up for evaluation at the end of the year.

"We need more sponsorship dollars to help make this team reach its full potential," Ballew said. "We also need more support from one of the manufacturers. This business is dependent upon adequate funding and support, and while I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past few years, we will not be able to continue at this rate. We have shown flashes of potential at times, a top-five at Daytona and several top-tens but to get where we need to be we are going to need some financial help."

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at California Speedway in Fontana, CA is scheduled for September 20th. The event will take the green flag at 4:00 pm ET and will be broadcast live nationally by the Speed Channel and MRN Radio.

-bbm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Robert Yates