NASCAR with Johnny Benson
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, NASCAR Now analyst Johnny Benson will stop by to chat about this year's season.
Benson is a veteran on the track, having won the 1995 Busch Series championship as well as the 2008 Craftsman Truck Series championship. In addition, he also won the 1996 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year.
Send your questions now and join Benson on Monday at 12:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (12:26 PM)
Johnny will be here at 12:30 p.m. ET to take your questions on Tony Stewart's big win over the weekend!
Buzzmaster (12:32 PM)
Is Tony peaking at the right time?
Johnny Benson (12:33 PM)
Tony winning the races he's won this year, he's definitely picked the right time to go on a streak of winning three races. That will only benefit him in his quest for the championship. It's great for them
Do you think Junior was just happy to make the Chase? Didn't seem like he really did much these last 10 races.
Johnny Benson (12:34 PM)
I think he is happy that he made the Chase. At times, maybe they felt they were a little lucky making the Chase. Once you get in there, you want to do well, but things haven't gone his way so far during the Chase as they would have liked.
Why won't NASCAR put more short tracks on the schedule? Why do they think 1 1/2 mile tracks are better?
Johnny Benson (12:35 PM)
I think that they've got a little bit of everything for the Chase. But the schedule from year's past has always been the 1 1/2 tracks at the end of the year. As a whole, I think they run the 1 1/2 tracks more. It would be great, but I don't think you'll see them change the schedule much.
Who do you think has had the most disappointing Chase?
Johnny Benson (12:35 PM)
Well, I don't know...I would probably have to say Denny Hamlin would be your guy that feels like he's had the worst part of the Chase. He was a contender the last couple of years and now he's way back with no chance.
We've got three races to go, so is this basically the Carl and Tony show?
Johnny Benson (12:36 PM)
I'd say definitely the Carl and Tony and Kevin would be most likely your guys. But we've seen things change quite a bit lately with guys having a bad race. But it will probably be Carl, Tony and Kevin being the guys.
Joe (sioux falls, sd)
Tony mentioned that he is "cashing in tickets" during the chase. Do you think this was a deliberate strategy by Tony all year in order to gain an advantage in the Chase?
Johnny Benson (12:37 PM)
I think that's hard to say. As teams race throughout the year, they're trying to win races every week. They just didn't have luck winning races. They're winning them at the right time. Whether you can say they're lucky it's happening or not, they are winning and it's been very beneficial for them.
How many points do you think a driver can make up in three races?
Johnny Benson (12:38 PM)
I don't think you'll see someone from way back to win, because everyone in front of them would have to have a problem. You may see one or two guys move around, but outside of that, I think it will stay very consistent with what it is right now.
Jimmie Johnson said during his post race interview that he was squeezed by Tony Stewart after the final re-start. Did I miss something? Did Stewart do something wrong or was this just 5-time being frustrated?
Johnny Benson (12:39 PM)
No, I think he was basically saying that he raced Tony with respect and did not move him up the track to get a hold of him. A driver on the outside will stay tight to the guy on the inside. I don't think Jimmie was complaining, I think he was just saying he was racing Tony with respect.
Johnny, I was without power here in CT due to the snow storm and couldn't watch the race....so, I'm curious to see what were your impressions were of the race?
Johnny Benson (12:40 PM)
Very tough race. A lot of cautions. A lot of unnecessary cautions or hitting. We know short track racing has some bumping and banging, but I think things got a little out of hand yesterday.
Do you think Dale Jr. set the tone for that race yesterday on lap 8 or was is going to be that type of race anyway? I wish they raced at Martinsville a minimum of 4 times!
Johnny Benson (12:41 PM)
Martinsville is that type of race before you even get there. I don't think Junior set any type of tone. I think people feel it's OK to bump and bang on short track racing. It would have happened no matter what.
Joe (Sioux falls, sd)
Brian Vickers sure didn't do himself any favors yesterday in trying to land a ride next year. Just how bad was his driving? I haven't heard any media comments from Brian.
Johnny Benson (12:41 PM)
He put himself in a couple of situations and things that had upset some of the Chase contenders. You're there to race, you're there to win, but you can't be roughing up the guys that are running for the championship. He was probably out of line with some of the stuff that he did.
Ryan (Ventura CA)
Hey Johnny, Good luck next year in the truck series . What manufacture are you running?
Johnny Benson (12:42 PM)
As of right now, some of the sponsorship stuff we've been working on has not materialized. At this stage, we're not sure what races we'll run in. I really want to run for a championship, but we'll have to see where things stand. It's not looking good at the moment.
How would you assess Jimmie's performance during the Chase?
Johnny Benson (12:43 PM)
I think his performance has been fine, maybe not as good as year's past, but fine. Others have just been better.
if carl wins, with only 1 win for the year, is it good or bad for NASCAR?
Johnny Benson (12:44 PM)
The Chase has always been about being consistent with at least a win. I think it's fine that he would end up with the win. What wouldn't be fine is if someone won without a win. With him having a win, I think it's perfectly fine if it ends up that way.
how do you think the wild card did this year?
Johnny Benson (12:45 PM)
Brad coming in as a wild card has done great. He's sitting fourth right now. Had he not gotten spun out late yesterday he might be sitting third. I think the wild card is working out great this year.
Joe (Sioux Falls, sd)
The "bump and run" has almost completely disappeared from short tracks, do you think it is a result of the COT? Other possible reasons?
Johnny Benson (12:46 PM)
Well, I think it's more of a respect thing. The bump and run thing is kind of a cheap way to pass somebody. If you're good enough to pass them, then pass them. It's too easy to knock them out of the way. I think it's just a respect thing.
What's the word with Mark Martin's 2012 plans? Is he joining Stewart-Haas part time?
Johnny Benson (12:47 PM)
I have not heard anything of what Mark's doing for next year. You hear that he's going to do something. I'm not in that loop, so I don't have a clue to what he's doing.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Happy Halloween!! Will Tony Stewart win the Rest of the 3 Races & be the 2011 Sprint Cup Series Champion?
Johnny Benson (12:48 PM)
I think he's got as good a shot as both Carl and Kevin. All three of them have been consistent throughout the Chase. Carl has probably been the most consistent throughout the year. The top three have a shot.
Do you feel that attendance will ever go up again?
Johnny Benson (12:48 PM)
I don't know the answer, but it's pretty obvious attendance has been down. I'm sure the economy has a lot to do with that. I don't know the answer, but it needs to be looked at for sure.
Johnny Benson (12:49 PM)
Thanks for everybody for tuning in. Because I'm in Connecticut and everyone with the power shortages and gas shortages here, I hope that you stay safe and warm.