With his first win November 3, 2002 at The Rock lost the title "best driver to never win a Winston Cup race", Johnny Benson Jr. was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1963 to John and Judy Benson. Benson followed in the footsteps of his father John Benson Sr who retired in 1981 and helped his son start racing. From 1982-1984, Benson Jr. drove a Thunderbird Raceway under the same number as his father, #21. The name of the first team was Aesculapian Enterprises with Benson Sr. being in charge of the team. Benson Jr. was named Rookie of the Year in 1982.
In 1986, Benson started his career on asphalt at Berlin Raceway, where his father won seven championships. In 1989, Benson Jr. won the championship for Late Model Cars. He also raced at tracks in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Columbus, Ohio, and Sandusky Ohio.
In just seven years of competition spanning from the 1982 - 1989 seasons, Johnny compiled the following statistics: Qualifications: 44 Fast Times - 3 track records. Won 33 heat races. Won 23 Feature races with 65 top five finishes and 84 top ten finishes.
1990 would be a change as Benson Jr. moved up to ASA
Throop Motorsports signed Johnny to drive ASA cars in a Chevrolet Lumina also under #21. In 1990, he won another Rookie of the Year and finished 8th in the points. In 1991, things would change as Throop would split the teams and Benson would be racing for Benson Speed Equipment. In 1993, Johnny would capture the American Speed Association Championship with 5 victories and 10 pole positions.
In just four years of ASA competition, Johnny compiled the following statistics: Competed in 72 events. Completed 90% of laps - 19,172 of 21,289 laps. Led a total of 3,244 laps. Earned 9 victories and 20 pole positions. Had 37 top five finishes and 48 top ten finishes.2>
Also in 1993, he started racing in the Busch Grand Nationals
with BACE Motorsports
1994 would be his rookie year in BGN under owner Bill Baumgardner and had Staff America as his sponser. Johnny won at Dover Downs International Speedway and won Rookie of the Year that year as well. 1995 would prove another banner year as he won the championship for the second year and won at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Hicory Speedway.
In 1996, Benson Jr. moved up to Nascar Winston Cup driving for Chuck Rider and the Bahari Racing team. His sponser was Penzoil and earned yet another Rookie of the Year award and a pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway. 1998 saw him switch to the Roush Racing Team and driving the Cheerios sponsered car. August of 1999 saw him join MB2 Motorsports with Valvoline as its primary sponser and MB2 became MBV Motorsports Benson Jr. is still racing for MBV and Valvoline, however the 2002 season has not been as good as the team hoped. After several crashes and some broken ribs, this year has been viewed as a time to try new things in preperation for the brand new Pontiac that comes out next year; the team has spent significant time developing the car which may have distracted them from racing.
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