Benson Breaks Bristol Drought With Truck Series Victory
Benson and Travis Kvapil were clearly the strongest competitors
in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Unfortunately it was a mistake by Cup Series regular Kyle Busch
that determined dictated which driver would claim the winner’s
Kvapil started on the pole and made his first pit stop the majority
of the field during the evening’s second caution. Benson
inherited the lead failed to follow the others down pit road
and stayed then out front until he made his first stop under
caution just past the halfway point of the 200-lap race. That
put Kvapil back in control of the lead and he held onto to until
Lap 180 when Kyle Busch got a little overanxious and spun both
trucks out in Turn 4 of the tiny track.
By then, Benson had fought his way back up to third and when
the first two trucks spun out he was right there to take advantage
of the situation. The Michigan native scored his first victory
in 25 combined Cup, Busch and Truck Series starts at the half-mile
bullring, which is known for its tight quarters racing.
Benson was chased to the checkers by Brendan Gaughan, Mark Martin,
point leader Mike Skinner and Rick Crawford. “I was confident
we could get to the front because we had forty lap fresher tires,”
said Benson, who led 84 laps. “I was surprised when they
all came as early as they did. Everybody on this team did just
a great job. This truck was awesome and I couldn’t be
Kvapil was seeking his second consecutive victory and after
leading a race-high 91 laps he was deeply disappointed with
what turned out to be an 11th place finish. “(Kyle Busch)
is definitely one of the best and one of the hardest drivers
out here,” said Kvapil. “There were numerous restarts
before that, so I figured I’d be able to hold him off.
He got down on the bottom and I know he was loose down there
and he just got up into me. We had a fast Ford and we weren’t
able to capitalize on it.”
Skinner held onto his lead in the driver standings with a fourth
place finish and gained another ten points on Ron Hornaday,
Jr. who finished two positions behind his title rival. Just
92 points separate the two drivers as the series heads to Gateway
International Raceway for the next event scheduled for Sept.