09/16/06
Benson Masters the Magic Mile

Now 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.