Benson Masters the Magic Mile
that Johnny Benson has this winning races thing down he's not
likely to be satisfied until he passes Todd Bodine in the point
standings and wins the 2006 Craftsman Truck Series championship.
Benson, who was seeking his first series victory coming into
the season, has now won four of the last nine races and has
pulled to within 130 points of Bodine with seven races to go.
Benson's latest triumph came at New Hampshire International
Speedway where he passed Kyle Busch on Lap 167 just as the caution
flew for Mike Bliss' crash in Turn 2. Busch had one more shot
when the caution flew with 27 laps to go but the Cup Series
regular got hung up behind a lapped truck and Benson easily
cruised to the checkers. "This (truck) was just unbelievable,"
said Benson, who also got the bonus points for leading the most
laps (145 of 200). "The guys wanted to make some adjustments
and it was running so good, I didn't know what adjustments to
make. I don't know what else to say, this thing was just incredible.
"The only way we're going to catch Todd (in the point standings)
is by doing what we did today."
Bodine won three of the first nine races but has been winless
since early June and is all too aware of the late season charge
being mounted by Benson and his Bill Davis Racing team. "We
qualified seventh and finished fourth but we lost too many points,"
said Bodine. "Johnny and Rick (Crawford) are going to be
tough the rest of the year. We just can't let them beat us.
If they finish third, we have to finish second. It's going to
be a dogfight the rest of the year."
Mike Skinner trailed his teammate by 0.691-second to finish
second and equal his best finish of the season. "I'm happy
that we had a good run," said Skinner. "Our performance
has been really good, but something always seems to happen.
We finished today where I think we should have finished, we
had a second or third-place truck, and that's where we finished."
The Craftsman Truck Series now heads to Sin City for next weekend's
race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.