Travis Benjamin comes back from spin to take sixteenth at Waterford Travis Benjamin came to Waterford Speedbowl looking to improve upon the 23rd position he finished at the track during his rookie season, and accomplished that with a sixteenth...
Travis Benjamin comes back from spin to take sixteenth at Waterford
Travis Benjamin came to Waterford Speedbowl looking to improve upon the 23rd position he finished at the track during his rookie season, and accomplished that with a sixteenth place finish. This came only after Benjamin's Irving Oil/Mainway Ford Taurus suffered a spin two-thirds through the race, before which he was running in twelfth.
Benjamin started the Waterford 150, the eighth race of the NASCAR Busch North Series season, from the seventeenth position after time trials.
"I think the car's real good," he said afterwards. "But we time trialed about where we always do, right in the middle. We still don't do anything to the car to help it in qualifying, except to tape it up. I think the car's real good for the race. Andy Santerre's going to be fast and he's starting right in front of us, hopefully we can stay on his bumper and follow him up through.
"We're competing for the top ten now. We ran in the top ten quite a bit of the race last week, and I was real excited there," Benjamin continued. "We're fast off the truck here, but we didn't qualify as well as I thought we would. I think we have a real good race car, though. The guys have worked real hard to get it good, so a top ten's close."
Starting seventeenth, Benjamin found progressing through the field difficult in the early stages and couldn't start making significant progress forward until after the halfway point. Following a lap 89 restart, Benjamin was racing Bryon Chew for the twelfth position and looked to be getting stronger as the race went on, but contact from Mike Rowe, who was coming back after a pit stop, sent Benjamin spinning in the second turn along with rookie Jeremy Pettigrew. Benjamin quickly turned the car around as caution came out, but the leaders had passed him and he was now a lap down.
"Rowe kind of punted us," he said after the race. "I don't know, I guess it's racing. What can you do? I hate that it happened, but I can't do much about it now."
Benjamin lined up for the restart nineteenth and ran to the conclusion as the first car one lap down, taking advantage of attrition by some drivers on the lead lap to move up to sixteenth at the checkers.
"Jerry Marquis finished fifth and we were riding right behind him, so I think we had a better car than what showed," he said. "We started with the air pressure in the thing a little too low, and that's something we probably shouldn't have done. Towards the end of the race we were running better so I think it just took too much time to get built up. I was trying to take it easy in the beginning of the race just to save my tires, because I thought that's what cost me in earlier races. I'd start out fast but then I'd drop back. This race I tried doing the opposite and we were faster at the very end, but there wasn't any place to go. I was down a lap, and guys were in front of us who weren't, so I didn't want to push the situation too much.
"We did some damage to the car but we finished again," Benjamin continued. "The Irving Oil Taurus isn't quite as pretty as it was before, but we'll patch it up and get ready for Thompson. I like Thompson so I'm excited to go there. We're getting there, we're getting closer every week. I really thought we had a real good car and it was really good at the end of the race."