Kansas: Johnny Benson race report

After finishing fourth at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway last year, Johnny Benson and his No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles team expected to have a strong finish this year. They matched their 2007 performance with another fourth-place run in...

After finishing fourth at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway last year, Johnny Benson and his No. 23 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles team expected to have a strong finish this year. They matched their 2007 performance with another fourth-place run in the fifth race of the season.

Benson and his TCUV team took little time to get running up to par in practice Friday morning. Crew chief Trip Bruce and team made many changes to their Toyota Tundra in order to get it running strong. Benson was 10th on the speed chart by the end of the first practice session. During the final practice session, Benson and crew ended up 12th on the speed chart. They were poised and ready for the race Saturday.

Benson made his qualifying attempt near the end of the qualifying order and mustered all he could out of his Tundra. He qualified in the 25th position for the start of the race.

After the 167-lap race began Saturday night, Benson immediately reported to his TCUV team that the handling of his Tundra was very tight. However, Benson was able to pass other trucks and soon advanced to the 17th position. The first caution of the race began on lap 25, and Benson and his team took advantage of the caution to make a pit stop. The crew made trackbar and air pressure adjustments during the four-tire stop. Benson restarted 14th on lap 31.

Driving hard and running strong, Benson soon broke into the top-10, where he remained until the next caution on lap 51. He pitted for four tires, fuel and a rubber in the right rear.

Within a few laps, Benson told his crew that he thought the rubber hurt the truck's handling, because his TCUV Tundra was pushing. Again, Benson did not let the handling issues hinder his progress, and he soon was engaged in a battle for the lead. Benson took the lead under caution on lap 74, but he soon dived down pit road for fuel and a trackbar adjustment. He restarted in 22nd position on lap 78.

Benson soon re-entered the top 10 and remained there for the next few laps before the eighth caution of the race. He visited pit road for more track bar and air pressure adjustments in addition to four tires and fuel. The TCUV crew's fast work propelled Benson to the eighth position for the lap 112 restart.

Benson's truck finally handled to his liking, and the veteran driver fought through a tough field to get to the front of the pack. Benson finished fourth and vaulted himself to the fifth position in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship point standings.

With Benson's great finish, all three Bill Davis Racing's Toyota Tundra's finished in the top-10 for just the second time in history.

-credit: bdr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Johnny Benson
Teams Bill Davis Racing