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Pennzoil Pontiac Racing Preview: Benson Aims for Top 10

15 September 1997

Benson Plans To Go Out In Top 10 

   Pennzoil Pontiac driver Johnny Benson announced last week he will 
join Roush Racing in 1998. Before he and Bahari' Racing part ways, 
both driver and team plan to finish in the top 10 in the 1997 Winston 
Cup point standings.  Benson is tied for 11th in the point standings 
with Ricky Rudd. They trail 10th-place Jeremy Mayfield by 42 points. 
One of the biggest factors in Benson's climb in the points race is the 
Pennzoil Pontiac's ability to finish races. Benson is third  in the 
number of miles completed during the 1997 season as well as laps 

Miles Completed in 1997      Laps Completed in 1997

1. Dale Jarrett    9,761     1. Dale Jarrett    7,319
2. Dale Earnhardt  9,676     2. Dale Earnhardt  7,265   
3. Johnny Benson   9,642     3. Johnny Benson   7,219
4. Bill Elliott    9,624     4. Bill Elliott    7,214

...third in miles and laps completed:

   "I think that is a tribute to the engines Ron Puryear and his guys 
are building this year and our ability to stay out of accidents. We 
haven't had many great races this year, but we are as high as we are 
in the points because of our ability to finish races. And in our point 
system, finishing races is one of the most important factors in any 
team's season."


   "I'm sure every driver will tell you they are glad this race will 
be only 400 miles. I think there will be less riding and more racing 
because of it. In the past you did everything with the thought that 
you just wanted to survive until the end. Now you have a little less 
time to get to the front so you might see the drivers going a little 
bit harder during the middle of the race than they would with the 
extra miles we used to have."

...Rest of 1997:

   "We announced last weekend that I'm not coming back to Bahari' next 
year. I've got a great opportunity, but I'm going to miss a lot of the 
people here. It's not like we want the season to end now. We know this 
Pennzoil team has a chance to finish in the top-10 in points and that 
motivates everyone. When this season ends, there are going to be a lot 
of good drivers and teams who wish they would have finished where we 
will in the points."

Johnny Benson's Winston Cup Career At Dover

Race             S      F     LC     TL    Status   Winnings 
1996 Miller 500  23    17    496     500   Running   $26,065    
1996 MBNA 500    30    24    492     500   Running   $25,465    
1997 Miller 500  29    21    495     500   Running   $26,840    

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