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Pennzoil Pontiac Race Preview: Benson Ready for Daytona

1 July 1997

Benson Ready to Race Different Daytona Track

   Pennzoil Pontiac driver Johnny Benson hopes to continue his success 
on the superspeedways this Saturday when he and the NASCAR Winston Cup 
drivers race in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway. 

   Benson, now 13th in the 1997 Winston Cup point standings, crashed 
while racing in the  top ten at the Daytona 500 in February and 
finished tenth at Talladega in May. Although this weekend marks the 
second visit to Daytona in 1997, Benson said the 2.5-mile tri-oval is 
a different race track from its February condition.

...July race vs. February race:

   "It's the same track, it hasn't moved, but it drives like two 
different tracks  The biggest difference is the heat. In February, you 
are almost in the dead of winter and with the cooler temperatures the 
car doesn't seem to slide around on the track like it does in the heat 
of July."

...Daytona in February:

   "It was a pretty frustrating couple of weeks. We didn't test well, 
we didn't practice well and we didn't qualify well. And, we weren't 
very good for most of the race. Then toward the end of the race, we 
started drafting with some cars that worked for us and all of a 
sudden, in the final ten laps, we were running in the top ten and 
moving up. 

   I was pretty excited. With just a few laps left we were touched by 
another car and wrecked. We finished down in the order. That hurt. I 
broke my toe, but it also killed our car. It's one of those things you 
hate to have happen. We're going to get a good finish and then it all 
went away."


   "The drafting at Dayonta is absolutely crucial. The more races you 
run there the better you get at drafting. I wish I could tell everyone 
more about what you learn, but drafting is something I can't just sit 
down and explain."

           Benson's Winston Cup Record at Daytona

                S    F    LC   TL   STATUS     MONEY
Daytona 500    27   23   197  200  Running  $  51,775 
Pepsi 400       5   25   160  160  Running  $  25,195 

Daytona 500    17   28   195  200  Accident $  61,935 

For More Information
Contact: Drew Brown
Cohn & Wolfe
(404) 880-5269