BNS: Adirondack: Travis Benjamin race summary

Broken coil spoils Travis Benjamin's first race at Adirondack Speedway. Travis Benjamin's first race at Adirondack International Speedway, making its debut on the NASCAR Busch North Series schedule this year, did not go as smoothly as the...

Broken coil spoils Travis Benjamin's first race at Adirondack Speedway.

Travis Benjamin's first race at Adirondack International Speedway, making its debut on the NASCAR Busch North Series schedule this year, did not go as smoothly as the Benjamin Motorsports team had hoped. Looking for a good run in his Irving Oil/Mainway Ford Taurus, Benjamin's streak of bad racing luck continued as a broken ignition coil left the car immobile and the crew scrambling to diagnose the problem. Although he was running at the finish, the laps lost repairing the car relegated him to a twenty-ninth place finish.

Benjamin's day at Adirondack did not get off to a good start as the crew had to change a transmission during the afternoon practice session. The crew performed this task quickly, and Benjamin returned to the track to get more practice laps. Despite losing valuable practice time making repairs, the car was dialed in enough to record the nineteenth fastest qualifying time, 17.271 seconds (104.221 MPH) around the half-mile oval.

"This is a great place," he said of the track. "It's a lot of fun and it's real wide. I think it's going to put on a real good race tonight. I'm not one to like the flat tracks very much, and this one's flat, but we're not going too badly.

"Our practice went well until we broke the transmission and we had to change the rear end gears," Benjamin continued. "Our two transmissions have different gears in them, so we had to change the rear end ratio to make up the difference. After that, we weren't quite as quick as we were before in practice. We were turning good laps times in practice, and after twenty laps we hadn't fallen off too much. But we went out in time trials and lost three tenths of a second from where we practiced. A lot of that was due to the gears, and we had a lot more stagger than we had in practice. We're going to put a little more gear to it to try and help us out for the race, and we should be good."

Benjamin climbed to seventeenth in the race's first ten laps, and it looked like his troubles might be behind him and he was on his way to a good run. But before fifty laps were in the books, the car was slowing with a flat tire and then, under a lap 58 caution, it stalled completely and had to be pushed to pit road. The crew went to work under the hood and on a couple of occasions had the car running again, only to send it back on the track where it would stall again. Eventually the culprit was found and replaced, and Benjamin returned to the track to finish the race. But with all the laps lost in the pits, he couldn't make up any positions and was classified as twenty-ninth at the finish.

"Today was a long day for everybody on the team," he said after the race. "First we broke the tranny in practice. In the race, first, we started out pretty decent, we were running right there with them, but on a restart we had a flat tire. We were going backwards and then, a couple laps after that, the coil broke. We only had one on the car, which might have been a mistake, and we just didn't get it figured out while the laps went by so quickly.

"We have a long trip home and a monkey on our back," Benjamin continued. "I've only broken one coil, maybe, in nine years of racing. These things happen in racing, I'm living proof of that. The monkey's on our back right now, but I'm hoping we can get it off our back next week at Beech Ridge for the Irving-sponsored race. We've got to show these boys what we're made of."

Next Saturday night is the second annual Irving Oil 150, the second Busch North Series race of the year held at the one-third mile Beech Ridge Motor Speedway at Scarborough, Maine.

-ajc-

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