After losing his NASCAR Camping World Trucks ride in 2009, Johnny Benson Jr. announced that he wasn’t going to return to the series full-time unless he found a team capable of winning on any given weekend.
It has taken more than two years, but it appears that Benson has found the right opportunity.
Benson, of Grand Rapids, said Tuesday that he plans to return to Trucks in 2012 with Turn One Racing, which features NASCAR veteran driver Stacy Compton as the team’s owner. Benson will be backed by the Pure Michigan campaign, with its logo to be carried on the hood of its Silverados.
“Our goal is to run the whole season and compete for the championship,” Benson said. “We are not quite there yet, but we have sold a lot of races. Pure Michigan has come on board, and we have been talking with many great companies in Michigan who have shown a lot of enthusiasm in joining us.
“Pure Michigan has done a great job with its national campaign. I have seen it as far out as Vegas, as well as other parts of the country. I’m excited to have Pure Michigan on the hood. I know Michigan is a great place to vacation, and you know it. Hopefully, this will help push other people to come here on their vacations.”
Benson won the 2008 Trucks championship for Bill Davis Racing before joining Red Horse Racing the following year. However, Red Horse folded five months into the 2009 season and left Benson without a ride.
Benson has spent the past two seasons competing in Late Model and Supermodified events. He will be back at his home track, Berlin Raceway in Marne, to run in Saturday’s Premier Boyne Machine Super Lates division for the Racingawareness.com team.
Compton’s team features Cole Whitt, an impressive 20-year old rookie from California who is eighth in the Trucks points standings. Benson, 48, said he is hoping to join Whitt in the field for a race later this season. If not, look for Benson to be ready to go for the season opener at Daytona in February.
“If I am going to run races, I want to have an opportunity to win races,” Benson said. “Stacy has shown that they can do that. They have had great runs with Cole Whitt. The team shows it has a lot of promise.
“It is a young team, and I have done well with young teams. Stacy is a racer who I have raced with in Nationwide and Trucks, and we have run together many times. His desire is no different from mine. He wants to win. This will be a good situation.”
Johnny Benson PR