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NASCAR Notes: Team Owner In Different Kind Of Ring

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, March 7 2012

The Camping World Trucks took to the pavement at Rockinham on Tusday. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer

NASCAR team owner Robby Benton has decided to throw his hat into the political arena.

The 32-year-old Benton, who fields the No. 09 Toyotas in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, is one of five Republican candidates vying for the District 41 state Senate seat in North Carolina.

The election will be held on May 8. Because no Democrat has registered to compete, the winner of the Republican primary this spring will win the seat.

“I feel like I have a firm grasp on what other small business owners are facing with regard to hindrances and obstacles,” Benton told DavidsonNews.net. “I built my company from the ground up and have many of the same daily struggles as most other small businesses.”

The sound of NASCAR engines were heard rumbling at Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina earlier this week when a handful of Camping World Truck Series drivers turned laps on the 1.017-mile oval.

Jason Leffler, the driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports, was among those participating in a Goodyear tire test at the track known as “The Rock.”

“Tire management, good handling truck and staying out of trouble,” said Leffler, when asked what it will take to win when the truck series races in Rockingham on April 15.

“Tires are going to be really important here because the surface is so hard on tires. You would group this place and Darlington together on the way it treated tires. It makes for a lot of fun behind the wheel.”

Joey Logano is off to a fast start two races into a new Sprint Cup season.

The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota attributes much of his early-season success to his team, led by new crew chief Jason Ratcliff.

“I think the big thing is attitude,” Logano said on Tuesday’s NASCAR teleconference. “I feel like my whole team has the attitude right now to go out there and win races, make the Chase, make this happen right now.

“Everybody has picked up their game a lot. I’m excited about that. And it comes along with a lot of new things. Obviously my new crew chief, Jason, ended up bringing some new life. It changes things up a lot. It’s kind of like a restart button.

“We started off the season pretty good with a couple of top-10 finishes. I feel like we’re a little bit better than where we finished at Phoenix last weekend, but we came out of there with something solid. If we keep doing that, we’ll be right where we need to be.”

Elliott and Hendrick, two well-known names in NASCAR, are scheduled to play a role in Saturday’s inaugural Mobile ARCA 200 at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway.

Chase Elliott, the 16-year-old son of former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, is expected to make his ARCA debut in a Hendrick Motorsports-prepared Chevrolet.

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, March 7 2012
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