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Pennzoil Pontiac Race Report: Benson Places 18th at NHIS

14 July 1997

Benson Posts 18th-place Finish at New Hampshire

   Pennzoil Pontiac driver Johnny Benson posted an 18th-place finish 
Sunday in the Jiffy Lube 300 and left the New Hampshire International 
Speedway still in 14th in the 1997 Winston Cup points standings.

   Benson complained of lack of power on the straight-away and fell a 
lap behind the leaders early during the race. As the race progressed, 
he turned similar lap times to those of the leaders and ended the 
300-mile race only a lap down.

   "It was a long day," Benson said. " We brought a new car here that 
just wasn't as good as the car we brought here last year."

   Benson and his Bahari' teammates held high hopes for the weekend. 
Last year, the 1996 Rookie of the Year finished ninth after starting 
the race in 38th place. Benson began Sunday's race in 32nd place, but 
could not mount a similar charge.

   Jeff  Burton led Dale Earnhardt and Rusty Wallace across the finish 
line of the mile track. Terry Labonte regained the points lead by three 
points over Jeff Gordon who finished 23rd.

   Despite his problems, Benson maintained 14th place in the point 
standings. He is only 81 points behind Ted Musgrave in 10th place.

   The Pennzoil Pontiac returns to the track Sunday in Pocono, Pa.

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