Friday, August 10, 2012
Travis Benjamin Hoping Past Experience will Give Him Advantage in Inaugural Pass Race at Stafford Speedway
STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. -- A common theme for many Pro All-Star Series (PASS) drivers will be a lack of track experience when the series makes its inaugural visit to Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday, August 26th. One driver who has had previous experience at Stafford is Travis Benjamin, who raced in several K&N East Series events at Stafford. Benjamin is hoping that his experience at Stafford will help give him a leg up on the competition for the 125-lap Super Late Model race.
'Back in 2001 and 2002 we raced there a couple of times,' said Benjamin. 'It's been a while since I was there, but I remember it was a fun track to race on. That experience can't hurt, that's for sure. The cars now are totally different from what they were back then, but definitely just as far as being on the track is definitely going to help. I don't think it will help us with the setup because we're coming in clueless on what to run for a setup. Practice is going to be important. Having been on the track before, knowing it's pretty flat and how to enter the corners should be able to help us adapt a little bit quicker than some of the other guys on finding a good setup for the crew.'
In addition to the PASS North drivers, Benjamin will be competing for the checkered flag against some of the PASS South drivers as the Stafford race is part of the PASS National Championship. Benjamin has 1 win and 7 top-5 finishes in the first 10 races of the 2012 season, and he expects the competition to be tough at Stafford with both North and South PASS drivers in the field.
'I am really looking forward to coming back to Stafford,' said Benjamin. 'The track is a class act and there is a great atmosphere around the track. This is going to be a national event, so we should get some guys from down South to come up, so it should be a really good race. We've raced with the Southern guys before and they're real good drivers. I think Jay Fogleman will be tough and Preston Peltier will be tough if he comes up. Those guys are really good on the bigger tracks where you can get a lot of speed, and I think we'll be flying around Stafford with the long straightaways.'
The PASS Super Late Model division has seen 7 different winners in the first 10 races of the season, and Benjamin expects that wide-open competition to continue at Stafford.
'It's a real close points fight,' said Benjamin. 'We're only 8 points behind Cassius [Clark] and Johnny [Clark] is about 6 or 8 points behind us, and DJ [Shaw] is right behind him. I think we'll be real good, we've been real good everywhere except for Beech Ridge and Oxford where you're always turning. I expect us to be in the top-5 by the end of the race. I really think that everyone has picked up their programs. Last year Johnny [Clark] won 7 times, and he hasn't had the luck this year that he's had in the past.
We've taken a little different avenue with our team this year and it's really worked out for us. Ben Rowe hasn't won this year yet, he's going to get a win before the year is out, Lonnie Sommerville hasn't won yet, and Teddy Christopher has a million laps around Stafford, so he'll be tough. It 's a real tough series, every race we go to, there's about 15 cars that can win.'
Although Benjamin and the rest of the PASS field will have some setup questions to get answered as they hit the track for practice, Benjamin is already looking at a potential trouble area that he and his team will have to address.
'Brakes are going to be huge at Stafford,' said Benjamin. 'You can't use your brakes up, and there's not a lot of banking to hold the car down. We were actually just talking about that last night. There isn't really another track that we run on that we can compare Stafford to for a setup.'
Tickets for the Inaugural PASS event are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $27.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $30.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking, with overnight parking available.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com