Morrill’s Travis Benjamin is relishing his second Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model North points championship in six years and will race again in the Mason-Dixon Mega Meltdown 300 at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina on Nov. 18.
Benjamin used a strong finish to capture the PASS title by 40 points over Glen Luce with Ben Rowe third, 86 points behind Benjamin. Luce and Rowe are from Turner.
The 38-year-old Benjamin notched two wins, two seconds and a fourth in his last six races. He had started the season with a 21st and a 20th.
“If you take out our first two races, our average finish was fourth,” said Benjamin, who had two wins, 10 top fives, seven top-threes and 13 top tens in 16 races for the Biddeford-based Petit Motorsports team.
“We had a great group guys who did a top-notch job of doing what they had to do to make the car good. Their preparation was unbelievable. It was like racing a brand new car every week. It was so well prepared.”
Benjamin said one thing that makes the championship special is the fact that after a driver wins a race he can’t start any higher than 11th in any race the rest of the season.
“That makes it pretty hard to do. There are so many good cars out there,” said Benjamin, in his second year driving for Petit Motorsports. Mark Lyden was his crew chief.
He said winning with his own family oriented race team in 2012 was special but so is racing for Peter Petit.
“It doesn’t get any better than winning with your own team. But it was also nice to win one for Peter,” said Benjamin. “He took a big chance on me. I had never driven for anybody but myself. If I was an owner, I wouldn’t put a stranger in my car and put all this money into it. It’s a good feeling. What it boils down to is (Petit) loves racing.”
Benjamin said he enjoys not having to put as much time into the sport as he did when he was running his own team because it gives him more time to spend with 10-year-old son Kaiden and to attend his son’s baseball and basketball games.
He intends to drive for Petit again next season and likes the challenge of defending his title although the team will consider skipping a few PASS races to run a few bigger-money events.
He looks forward to racing at Hickory even though he said he has “never run well down there.
“It’s an old, worn-out place. It’s rough. But there is so much history there. So many (big-time NASCAR stars) raced there back in the day,” said Benjamin.
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