Benson returns home


Any time defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Benson can return to his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich., he takes every opportunity possible.

Benson, driver of the No. 1 Red Horse Racing machine, was in town on Wednesday, April 1 promoting the upcoming NCWTS event at Michigan International Speedway, which will be held on Saturday, June 13. Benson, who currently sits seventh in the 2009 points standings, had lunch with area media and fans at the Shang Hai Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse in Grand Rapids.

“I love coming back to Michigan and my hometown of Grand Rapids,” Benson said. “Meeting with fans and the media is something I really enjoy doing. The season didn’t start off well for us in Daytona, but I feel like things are starting to turn around. We want to head to Michigan in June with some momentum and hopefully a committed sponsor. To sit seventh in points right now is good for us with the start to the season that we had.”

Benson finished second to Erik Darnell at MIS in 2008 in what was the closest finish in MIS history at 0.005 seconds. Benson has considered MIS his hometown superspeedway for many years.

“I love racing at Michigan International Speedway,” Benson said. “We ran a really great race at MIS last year and just came up short to Erik Darnell and the Roush group. It’s definitely a place I enjoy driving at each and every year.”

MIS President Roger Curtis took the time to meet with Benson and the Grand Rapids area fans.

“Johnny’s a great driver and to have him come back to the Michigan area was fun for all of us,” Curtis said. “To see him meet with some of his local area fans was great. To see the faces of the fans light up when they got to meet their favorite driver is something I really enjoyed.”

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series puts on some of the best racing at MIS every year, including Darnell and Benson’s spectacular finish last season. It’s a series that has made its mark at the Irish Hills track.

“I’ve had a lot of fun driving in the Truck Series,” Benson said. “I wouldn’t rule out the opportunity to maybe drive in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series again one day, but I’m very happy where I’m at and the success we’ve had in the Camping World Truck Series.”

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.

Tickets and camping are on sale now. For additional information, call the MIS Ticket Hotline at 800-354-1010 or visit


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