Benson scores 5th Truck Series win

November 11th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Benson scores 5th Truck Series win


Associated Press

AVONDALE, Ariz. - Johnny Benson spun on the first lap Friday night, then came from the back of the field to win the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.
His fifth victory of the season allowed Benson to keep points leader Todd Bodine in sight with one race to go before the championship is decided. Bodine, who finished fourth, has a 112-point lead over Benson heading into next week's finale in Homestead, Fla.
"We are in a position where we don't have to win the race, we just have to have a decent finish," Bodine said. "That's not the way we like to race, but that's the reality. We're going to go to Homestead and try to win, but if we can't, we'll keep the big picture in mind."
Bodine needs to finish 28th or better in the finale to clinch the title.
Still, he could have wrapped it up in this one, and maybe even thought he had it when he saw Benson nearly wreck on the very first lap.
Benson started from the pole and was racing Mike Skinner on that first lap when he lost control of his Toyota Tundra and spun across the track to bring out the first caution before the lap was even complete.
"That was my fault," Benson said. "Just being stupid."
The spin put Benson at the back of the field, and even though he clearly had the fastest truck in the race, a record 11 cautions slowed his progress. He finally passed Mark Martin for the lead with 30 laps to go and pulled away for a win he thought had vanished in the opening moments.
"I didn't think I could win it," Benson said. "I thought maybe we'd get to the top five, but that was it. But this truck was so good, it was so fun to drive."
Still, he conceded the title to Bodine.
"I know we don't have a shot for the championship, but its a championship-caliber team," Benson said.
Martin, who finished second, said he had nothing for Benson in the closing laps.
"Johnny Benson earned that one," Martin said. "He just put it on us. He smoked us in qualifying, came from the back of the pack, passed us. He smoked us."
Skinner was third, followed by Bodine, Matt Crafton and David Starr. Jack Sprague, David Reutimann, Kyle Busch and Erik Darnell rounded out the top 10.

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