Leave it to Johnny Benson to make the best of a bad situation. The likeable driver and part-time television personality hasn't let a late-season dismissal from NASCAR's top series four months ago get in his way of doing what he ...
Leave it to Johnny Benson to make the best of a bad situation. The likeable driver and part-time television personality hasn't let a late-season dismissal from NASCAR's top series four months ago get in his way of doing what he loves.
After a disappointing season in the #10 Valvoline Dodge, Benson was released from his Winston Cup ride after a 34th place finish at Martinsville in October. He still had a year remaining on his contract.
"It was probably an unusual situation that happened," Benson says. "I didn't know that there was a change coming. With only four races to go in the season it makes it pretty difficult to find something full time."
The 1995 Busch Series champion joined James Finch to run a limited Nextel Cup schedule and compete for the Busch Series championship.
"James called and asked if I want to drive the #1 car," Benson explained. "I told him sure, why not. I don't have anything else to do. I went from not having a job to driving more races than I did last year. It's worked out great."
Benson was caught up in an 11th-lap wreck in the season-opener last week at Daytona and finished 41st. He's looking to rebound with a strong finish at Darlington.
"Obviously we didn't start Daytona like we wanted although we felt we had a pretty good car there," Benson says. "Being here with a team that has won this race a couple of times is a positive. We're looking forward to the task and really looking forward to the race."
While Benson is committed to running the complete Busch Series schedule, he hasn't ruled out a return to the Cup series.
"If something comes up full time, I am free to do that," he says. "Right now my goal is the Busch Series. Whatever happens on the other side is going to happen. We're looking forward to the 12 races we're going to do and then go from there."