Tony Stewart, Johnny Benson return to Berlin Raceway on Tuesday, June 10 MARNE, MI (June 4, 2003) - NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart and Grand Rapids' own Winston Cup driver Johnny Benson will visit Berlin Raceway on Tuesday, June 10,...
Tony Stewart, Johnny Benson return to Berlin Raceway on Tuesday, June 10
MARNE, MI (June 4, 2003) - NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart and Grand Rapids' own Winston Cup driver Johnny Benson will visit Berlin Raceway on Tuesday, June 10, for the Meijer/Tony's Pizza 100. The $10,000-to-win Coors Light Late Model race boasts a $73,000 total purse.
Stewart won the UPS Grand Haven Race Car Festival at Berlin Raceway a year ago in his second appearance here (his first appearance was a fourth place finish in the USAC Sprint Car feature on July 4, 1992). He went on to win the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship in just his fourth season on the circuit and has 15 race wins to his credit. Stewart will be driving the #1 DeVrou Chevrolet Late Model supplied by Berlin Raceway veteran Randy Sweet.
For Benson, it is his second of three appearances at Berlin Raceway this season. He won a 75-lap Coors Light Late Model feature on May 10, which was billed as Tribute To Johnny Benson Night in celebration of his first race back in his home state since winning his first Winston Cup race. He is also scheduled to race on Saturday, June 28, in a 50-lap Late Model race. Auto Value Super Sprints will also race on that night.
Benson has raced eight times at Berlin since 2001, when he became involved with the Whitecaps ownership group. He has produced six top 10's and two victories (August 14, 2002 in the Chet Mysliwiec Memorial Open Invitational 100 and May 10, 2003) in that time. Benson, a former regular at Berlin Raceway, won the ASA championship in 1993 and the NASCAR Busch Series championship in 1995 before joining the elite NASCAR Winston Cup circuit in 1996 and winning the Rookie of the Year title. He has finished as high as 11th (twice) in Winston Cup points and claimed his first victory at the Pop Secret 400 in Rockingham last November.
Benson has also been instrumental in securing other top drivers such as Stewart, Kenny Schrader and Dick Trickle to compete with him at Berlin. On June 10 Benson will be driving his own #10 Late Model car, now sponsored by Aaron's Rents, which sponsored Benson's Winston Cup team in 1999 and 2000.
A $1.00 donation for every ticket sold to the Meijer/Tony's Pizza 100 will benefit the Marne Lions Club. Nick LaFleur, Marne Lions Club representative, said the Lions Club has several projects in mind to undertake with the revenue generated from Berlin Raceway's donation. Projects under consideratin include creating a walking path on newly acquired land alongside Sand Creek on State Street in Marne, making a monetary donation to the Marne Little League, and creating a scholarship in the name of the Marne Lions Club.
The race format includes qualifying time trials, two 50-lap qualifying races and a 100-lap feature. Berlin Raceway's Sportsman division will also compete in a 25-lap feature. All events are non-points-bearing.
Tickets for the special race are $25 in advance and $27 on the day of the race (subject to availability). Pit passes are $30. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Berlin Raceway Ticket Office (open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 10 a.m. on Saturdays), by phone to Berlin Raceway at 616-677-5000, online at berlinraceway.com, by fax at 616-677-0122, or by mail. There is a $2 service fee for all orders unless tickets are purchased in person. Tickets are also available through TicketMaster at 616-456-3333 and online at ticketmaster.com for an additional service charge.