Johnny Benson - Truck Champion in 2008, out of a ride for 2009, what's expected for 2010?
If you'll remember, Johnny Benson was the Truck Series Champion in 2008. He switched teams, much to the confusion of fans and critics alike, and went to work for Red Horse Racing. Part way through the season, Red Horse Racing ran out of sponsorship and announced that they no longer had a ride for JB. Less than a week later, however, they announced that they had hired youngster Timothy Peters, who was bringing along his own sponsor.
And just like that, the 2008 Champion wasn't even racing in 2009. Unbelievable.
Even worse than being without a ride, one of the kindest, most gentlemenly drivers of NASCAR found himself racing in an open wheel Super Modified car a scant week later and before the race had really started, Johnny was out of the race.....and in the hospital. His car was involved in a collision with another early in the event, with the car hitting the wall driver's side first, then bursting into flames. We all heard the news about the accident, but details were initially sketchy. JB suffered numerous injuries, and the first surgery of his life. Yes, at 45 years of age, Johnny Benson experienced surgery for the first time.
His injuries includedthird degree burns to his elbow, bad enough to require one of the two surgeries he would undergo, as well as a separated shoulder and broken collarbone, resulting in the other surgery. Other injuries included a cbruised lung, three broken ribs, a fractured wrist, and of course all the bruises and cuts an accident of that nature would cause. He was unable to race for the rest of the 2009 season, but has now received a clean bill of health from his doctors, and none too soon.
A few days ago, Kyle Busch announced the formation of Kyle Busch Motorsports, with the intention of offering a full time ride to Johnny Benson for the coming year, if sponsorship can be found. At this point in time, that goal hasn't been reached, but Johnny is content to have a team to belong to, once again, and is prepared to offer his guidance and assistance to the drivers Kyle is hoping to mentor and find places for in the near future.
If it seems an odd mix, Johnny Benson and Kyle Busch, maybe that is on purpose. Kyle is definitely a driver who says what he thinks, or doesn't say anything, as evidenced by his hasty retreats from post-race interviews on many occasions. Johnny, on the other had, is a true racing gentleman. Maybe the worst comment he's ever said against another driver is an accusation of a "different perspective". However, it Kyle is trying to bring validity to his team, Johnny Benson is the perfect choice. And at 46 years of age, Johnny has already proven that he isn't ready to be put out to pasture. With 50 year old driver Ron Hornaday scoring the 2009 Championship, drivers over 40 are definitely showing that experience is the best thing a driver can bring to the truck series.
Johnny definitely wants to be in a truck again, and showing up competing every week for the wins. No doubt that Kyle Busch wants that as well, and will provide the kind of equipment to get that job done. Hopefully, they will find the sponsorship to put Johnny, once again, behind the wheel of a quality ride, where he can win.
Because this fan believes his winning days are not done.