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Pennzoil Pontiac Race Report: Benson Spins at Darlington and Still Finishes 19

2 September 1997

Benson Finishes 19th Despite Spin

August 31, 1997
Darlington, S.C.  

   Pennzoil Pontiac driver Johnny Benson survived a 360-degree spin 
midway through Sunday's Southern 500 and finished in 19th place -- two 
laps behind race winner Jeff Gordon who became only the second driver 
to win three of the sport's top four events and earn a $1 million 

   "We were just tight all day," Benson said as he rubbed some of the 
blisters on his hand after the 4-hour race. "We did the best we could 
and we didn't wreck it."

   Benson remains in 12th place in the 1997 points race trailing 11th 
place Jeremy Mayfield by 50 points and 10th place Ted Musgrave by 103 

   Benson raced as fast as the leaders in the early going, but some 
handling problems and a pit stop dropped him down a lap. A midrace 
accident involving two cars gave Benson no option but to lock the 
brakes and hold on for a ride. The Pennzoil Pontiac spun but some 
flat-spotted tires were the only damage.

   "That was awfully close," Benson said. I'm surprised we didn't hit 
something in all that. But, we did lose another lap."

   Benson and the Pennzoil Pontiac return to the track Saturday night 
at Richmond International Raceway.

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