What's next for Johnny Benson?

Johnny Benson - Truck Champion in 2008, out of a ride for 2009, what's expected for 2010?

12/19/09 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

It's the time of year when all the "hot" stories are pretty much done, that is unless you are Danica Patrick or Dale Earnhardt Jr.  However, what if you are Johnny Benson, a former Truck Series Champion?

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.
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12/22/09   |   LoriDbl18fan   |   138 respect

wrote:
i guess it wasn't NASCAR or something it was the SPEED channel since a majority of the races are on SPEED they didn't like it or whatever?i don't know it just seems like a line of BS to me

All I know about it is the media (not sure what media) had said if he got that sponsor, they wouldn't give it any air time.  Once the media said that, the sponsorship didn't happen.  Maybe it really was NASCAR and they just wanted to blame it on the media, but it doesn't make sense at all with the gunbrokers.com truck already on the track.  Hopefully, it all works out this next time with whatever sponsor they find.

12/22/09   |   LoriDbl18fan   |   138 respect

wrote:
it was Johnny...something to do with Guns is why it fell through...kinda dumb considering that the #23 had Gunbrokers.com as a sponsor all year long

I know.  Seems really messed up that the media would have such a fit when they already have a truck out there tied to guns.

12/21/09   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

rob49426 wrote:
I know he will drive if a sponsor is found, but is he on the team now as a mentor if not driving?
(Edited by Debi_L)

He has signed with Kyle Busch Motorsports from what I understand and is working at the shop, mentoring the development drivers, Taylor Malsom and Brian Ickler.  I also understand if they do not find a sponsor, he will continue to work in a mentoring and advisory position.

Announcement of Formation of Kyle Busch Motorsports

12/21/09   |   rob49426   |   1 respect

wrote:
he will be in a truck for KBM if they can find sponorship

I know he will drive if a sponsor is found, but is he on the team now as a mentor if not driving?

12/21/09   |   rob49426   |   1 respect

Why not a west michigan sponsor?  Meijer, Amway, etc.  Also, Benson has been seen wearing a Kyle Busch team shirt recently.  Does this mean he is officially on with KB motorsports? What an interesting mix for racing that would be.....considering their history on the track over the years!

12/19/09   |   LoriDbl18fan   |   138 respect

I don't remember if it was Johnny or Skinner who found a sponsor last year, but wasn't allowed to have it.  It was a gun company and though NASCAR wasn't the one to stop it, the media was by saying that if the truck had that sponsor they wouldn't give it any airtime.  Here's hoping that they find a sponsorship and this one will be allowed because it wasn't right not seeing a champion get the chance to defend his title.

12/19/09   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

wrote:

No doubt this is one of the best decisions Kyle Busch has ever made. It gives his race team instant credibility. It will help bring along new/young drivers that will work with one of the best in the Series. I believe it will also help Kyle Busch become a beeter person. JB is awesome and has alot to offer Kyle as a Driver and Human Being. Best off Season news I have heard so far. I will pray for that Sponsorship.

I couldn't agree more, Ed.  JB deserves a ride and you're right when you say KB signing him gives his team credibility.  Johnny is a Champion, and not a "long time ago" past champion, either.  I have no doubt that with great equipment, whatever truck JB is in will win.  Also praying for that sponsorship!