Travis Benjamin sixteenth at Thompson. Travis Benjamin took his second consecutive sixteenth place race when he finished in that position in Saturday night's Pepsi Racing 150. Benjamin, now riding seventeenth in the NASCAR Busch North Series ...
Travis Benjamin sixteenth at Thompson.
Travis Benjamin took his second consecutive sixteenth place race when he finished in that position in Saturday night's Pepsi Racing 150. Benjamin, now riding seventeenth in the NASCAR Busch North Series points standings, took that finish after starting a very good twelfth position.
Benjamin's Irving Oil/Mainway Ford Taurus team took advantage of more practice time at Thompson compared to other stops on the series to experiment with different setups for qualifying, but went back to its race setup for qualifying and was rewarded for that effort with a twelfth place starting spot.
"I'm real happy," he said. "The guys are working real hard. Once again we didn't really change anything so I think that's how much we have a good car. We are coming around, the car felt great. I'm not really sure what it's going to do tonight. Everyone is telling me it's going to loosen up so we are going to tighten her up a little bit and hopefully it's the right move. I think we have a good car.
Benjamin was asked if he was going over his pit strategy before the race.
"I hoping not to pit," he answered. "The last two races that we've run, we haven't even thought about pitting and it seems to be working out better for us. I just want to fall in line and try to ride for the first 75 laps. I think I wear out my tires too quickly when I'm racing."
Benjamin stuck to his plan and rode around for the early part of the race, struggling with a tight race car. Only 28 laps into the race, though, he and Tom Bolles came together, leaving Benjamin with damage on the right side of his car and possibly bent rear suspension pieces and a flat right rear tire. He pitted for repairs and a fresh tire, but the damage was done and he was forced to struggle through the rest of the event, salvaging sixteenth.
"I wasn't too excited with that run," he said. "The car was way too tight. We thought the track would loosen up and it didn't. We talked to two or three people who race here regularly and they said it tightened up. We didn't know, so we had to try something. I wish we had run the same setup we ran in qualifying, but what can you do.
"In the beginning there I was just trying to take it easy, not burn up the tires," he said. "I dropped back a little ways but I wasn't too worried. I got into Bolles there and that really hurt us, I think it messed up something in the rear end."
Benjamin now looks forward to the second visit the series will make at New Hampshire International Speedway. He finished in the top twenty in the May race there, and expects to run even better next time.
"We'll go to Loudon, and we'll try to qualify well there," he said. "We qualified well here, I'm happy with how that went, and I think we can do the same thing next week. It'll be with a new car that ran well at Nazareth and Loudon, we just had to work the bugs out of it."