Orono, ON (January 31, 2014)- It was the year the provincial motorsports community took notice of a young Mini Stock racer named Danny Benedict.
After campaigning a Honda Civic and Prelude at Central Ontario venues like Kawartha and Peterborough Speedways in the early stages of his career, the talented teenager from Orono, Ontario – a graduate of the Kawartha-Durham Kart Club – unveiled the first rear-wheeled drive machine in the team’s history to kick-off the 2014 campaign at Canada’s Toughest 1/3-Mile Paved Oval.
Suffering through a few weeks of the typical new car blues, things really came together during a mid-season hot streak that saw the driver of the #54 Mustang become one of the region’s most talked about runners. Team owner and the driver’s father Doug Benedict says it was a very rewarding time.
“The checkered flags at Peterborough, Sunset and Capital City made all of the struggles worthwhile,” admitted Benedict during an off-season break at the team’s shop. “It took us a while to get all of our ducks in a row, but once we did, things worked out really well. Scoring wins at tracks where we don’t usually run – against some tough competition – gave us a real boost and helped Danny’s confidence.”
For 2015, the driver nicknamed “The Showstopper” – after winning the final weekly Mini Stock features ever run at Kawartha and Mosport/Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Speedways – will have a new racing home.
When the green flag waves to kick-off the next campaign, fans will look for Danny Benedict plying his trade in weekly action at Sunset Speedway. The 18 year-old, who is about to wrap-up his first year of studies in the Powerline Technician course at Algonquin College says he’s looking forward to making the change.
“We had a lot of fun and made some great friends at Peterborough Speedway, but decided it was time for something new,” said the driver. “I had a couple of decent runs at Sunset last year, so I’m excited about being a regular there this season.”
Before they roll onto the track for opening night, the crew at Benedict Racing will be putting in some long hours in the shop getting the car ready. After the final checkered flag of 2014, the machine was stripped-down to the frame and cage. The immediate goal is find a way to cut some weight off the chassis that took Danny Benedict to ninth place in the Peterborough standings and the Most Sportsmanlike Driver award. The team will also welcome a new marketing partner to the sponsorship line-up, as Dent Dynamics joins Don’s Auto Shop, Integrity Driven Solutions, Wallace Auto Supply – Carquest, Mayhew Graphics, Mark Rainford of Roger Swan Auto Sales, Camsport Truck Caps & Accessories, B & W Enterprises, Kim Irwin of Irwin Tax, Baudo Auto Services and Clarke Motorsports Communications.
“Chris Mitchell at Dent Dynamics has watched Danny grow-up at the track from when I raced an endurance car to when he started running himself,” said Doug Benedict. “It’s important to him to see the sport grow and this is a great way to give back and possibly help get our program to the next level. We’re happy to have him as part of the team.”
Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media