Friday August 2, 2019 would bring a career best for Benedict when he crossed the finish line a fender behind the leader. With a second place finish going into a racing filled weekend, Benedict had the confidence to continue his hot streak.
"Being able to get a top three finish in this series in our first year is amazing for us. We’ve had such an up and down season, we weren’t sure if our good runs were just flukes or not, so to have a run like that really boosts our confidence. It feels great to us, knowing that we’re getting better every week. Unlike a lot of the teams, we’re doing our own setups, building our own cars and I’m my own crew chief. Without having a lot of the resources other teams have, we constantly question whether or not we can even have runs like that so finally breaking out and finishing second is a huge boost of confidence."
After leading close to ten laps nearing the end of the race Benedict continues to show that he has what it takes to be a top contender in the APC United Late Model Touring Series. Heading back to Sauble Speedway only two days later was a win for the team, knowing they had a good piece to compete with.
After qualifying fifth on Sunday, Benedict would start third after the invert.
"I felt like we had an even better car on Sunday, we just couldn’t catch a break on restarts. There was a couple times I could have forced the issue but just stayed patient. The outcome didn’t reflect on just how good we were, but the cars in one piece and it was a great points day. We also qualified in the top five which is a first for us, so that was awesome. Overall I’m just really happy with the whole weekend and proud of my team."
After the double header weekend with APC, Benedict a rookie of the year contender, is currently sitting eighth in this points with only two stops left on the tour. One of these stops is Benedict's home track of Sunset Speedway, and the other is the final race at Delaware Speedway. His rookie campaign is heating up leading into the final leg of the season.
"This is the toughest series in Canada, there’s no doubt about that. So to be able to run up front in just our 7th full race is incredible. Especially having the speed to belong up there, not just start there and stay there. I think a lot of people were surprised to see it, but the support I received after the race was amazing, so hopefully we proved that we belong up there from now on and can back that run up with some more podiums."
Along with the two APC Series races, Benedict also ran two features at Sunset Speedway behind the wheel of his Limited Late Model. Unfortunately, Benedict would suffer from mechanical problems and not reach his full potential.
"Unfortunately we had some engine issues on Saturday night. We still qualified in the top five and had a good night, but we were definitely off. Our next step is to pull it out and get it checked out. Since it’s a sealed crate motor we unfortunately can’t do it ourselves, so it might take a bit of time. With the APC series coming to Sunset in a couple weeks, I think we’ll shift focus into that.'
The defending NASCAR Whelen All American Series Ontario Provincial Champion is unsure of what is to come next with his Limited Late Model program, but is still hopeful to have a strong finish.
"We’re unsure of our future for the LLM right now. It really depends on what we find in the motor. Unfortunately we don’t have the budget to replace it, so if it can’t be fixed, we’re likely done for the season."
The 54 team still isn't losing steam with their program as they continue to strive for great finishes.
"I think the goal for APC is still the same. Learn a little every time we’re out, and finish every race. Sauble was a big confidence boost but we’re still running against the best. As long as I keep improving, and my team is having fun, I’ll be more than happy. It’s hard to say what our LLM goals are at this point, until we find out what’s wrong with the motor. At this point, the only real goal is to defend our Velocity 250 championship at Sunset. We’ve won it two years in a row and that’s a streak I don’t want to see end. I don’t think anyone’s ever won it 3 times, let alone in a row so hopefully we can be the first"
Danny's next confirmed race will be August 17th, at Sunset Speedway with the APC United Late Model series, where he is looking forward to competing at a track familiar to him.
Make sure to keep up with Benedict on his social media;
Instagram & Twitter: @DannyBenedict54
Facebook: Danny Benedict Motorsports