Johnny Benson, Jr.

Johnny Benson Jr. (* June 27, 1963 in Grand Rapids, Michigan) is an American NASCAR driver. His greatest success was winning the championship in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2008.


Early years

Johnny Benson Jr. was Late Model champion at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan. In 1990, he joined the American Speed ​​Association (ASA ). As a rookie in the ASA he drove a pole position, led 174 laps and secured eight top - 10 finishes. Before Pat Schauer he was awarded " Rookie of the Year." In 1991 he finished fourth in the ASA AC - Delco Challenge Series. In 1993 he won with the Valvoline Chevrolet sponsored the # 21 for Throop Motorsports the championship of the ASA.

In 1993, he debuted in the then Busch Series. On the Michigan International Speedway he drove the Chevrolet with the start number 41 for Ernie Irvan. After an early accident he fell from number 20 to 40 back. In BACE Motorsports he drove three more races in the Chevrolet with the start number 74 His best result he drove a at the Atlanta Motor Speedway with an eighth place.

In 1994 he was hired as a full-time driver with BACE Motorsports. He won his first race with the Splitfire 200 at Dover International Speedway. He was also in the series "Rookie of the Year" and finished the season in sixth place. The following season he already drove a early victories in Atlanta and Hickory and was NASCAR Busch Series champion. In the same season he began to ride in the Craftsman Truck Series. He was 18 Second at the Indianapolis Raceway Park in Silverado Chevrolet - sponsored with the starting number. The following year he drove a pole at North Wilkesboro Speedway.


In 1996 he rose to the Winston Cup Series. His father, John Benson, already adopted in 1973 participated in a series of races and finished it in fourth place. Johnny drove the Pennzoil car with the number 30 for Bahari ' Racing. For the Food City 500, although he could not qualify, but the title of NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year, he secured. At the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time, he started from the pole position. In August 1996, he dominated the Brickyard 400, but had to be beaten at the box type. He finished the season with seven top-10 results and number 21 in the championship. As the reigning Busch Series champion, he was invited in the same year for the International Race of Champions. Behind the winner Mark Martin, he was third. In the Winston Cup season of 1997 he went nine top-10 results, but no ranking among the top five in. During the season he announced his move to Roush Racing. In 1998 he took not even participate in the Daytona 500. His best result was a ninth place. In 1990, he drove only two top - 10s, moved several times, the crew chief, and left Roush Racing finally.


The Winston Cup season in 2000 drove for Tyler Jet Motorsports Benson. He drove the car with the number 10, which was still uncertain whether he would finish the season without sponsorship money, because only in the morning before the Daytona 500, the Group Lycos announced its financial interest known. Four laps to go he was leading the race ahead of Dale Jarrett and Jeff Burton. Burton passed him into turn one and in the end it was only enough for twelfth place. At the third race of the season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway he finished third. For Pepsi 400 he entered again without a sponsor. There were rumors that Lycos have never paid for advertising. Since there was also no new sponsor, the team was sold to MB2 Motorsports. In August, Valvoline announced as a donor. Benson finished 13th in the championship. In the NASCAR Winston Cup season 2001, he drove a 14 top-10 results, six of them in the top five.

The 2002 season began with a tenth place in Daytona. In the Busch Series, he drove a race for Marsh Racing at Richmond International Raceway. Due to an accident he retired to a broken rib, which made ​​him incapable of driving for three Cup races. When Pepsi 400 he clashed with Michael Waltrip and the ribs broke again. After two race break, he started as a runner-up in Loudon and led 53 of 207 laps. He crossed the finish line in fourth place. On the Martinsville Speedway, he drove the second place, the best result of his career so far in the Cup series. Two races later, he won his first Cup race with the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400. At season's end, he was charged with 29 counts in 1668 after four races in the 2003 season, he was sixth. After top 5 results in Dover and Homestead he was 24 After the season took Scott Riggs at the direction of Valvoline his place.


The 2004 season went Benson for Phoenix Racing in the Busch Series. His first pole he drove in Rockingham, but for breaking a rule he had to start last. The race of the season in Bristol he had a good chance of winning, but what an accident between Kevin Harvick and David Stremme made ​​to naught. In Nashville, was also involved in an accident. For the same team he also drove the No. 09 car for four races in the Nextel Cup. His best result was a 27th place in Daytona.

Over the next four months, he drove a Busch race for Matt Kenseth. In August it a cockpit with Bill Davis Racing in the Craftsman Truck Series was offered. In 13 races he ran ten times in the top 10. In the Craftsman Truck season 2005 he finished tenth in the championship standings. For FitzBradshaw Racing he drove four races in the Busch Series and one for Smith Bros. Racing. He also ran three races in the Nextel Cup: Two for Michael Waltrip Racing and one for Bill Davis Racing. In Atlanta, he was 28

At Con - way Freight 200 he won in 2006, his first truck race. He was the 17th driver who had won a race in all three NASCAR national series. A moment later he won the Toyota Tundra Milwaukee 200 on the Milwaukee Mile. With the Toyota Tundra 200 he won at the Nashville Superspeedway his third race of the season. The next victory came in New Hampshire. On the Phoenix International Raceway, he was able to record the fifth win of the year. Behind Todd Bodine, he finished the season as runner-up. He also received the title of Most Popular Driver of the 2006 series.

The 2007 season, he finished with four wins in Milwaukee, Bristol, St. Louis and Homestead in third place. Repeatedly, he was awarded the Most Popular Driver. In Cup, he drove in 2007 the Crown Royal Presents The Jim Stewart 400 for Wyler Racing and the Checker Auto Parts 500 and 400 Ford for Bill Davis Racing. In the Busch Series, he drove only the AT & T 250 for Phoenix Racing. In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 2008 season, he won the Camping World RV Sales 200 in Milwaukee his first race of the season. On July 19, he won the second race of the season on the Kentucky Speedway, after he passed simultaneously with a "super- race of Turn 2 out " Michael Annett and Dennis Setzer, and the lapped Chad Chaffin. With the Power Stroke Diesel 200 Benson won ahead of Ron Hornaday and thus stopped the Meisterschaftsführug. On the Nashville Superspeedway Benson won his third race of the season in a row.