With many of his competitors having already "inked" their deals for 2007, Benny was just beginning the difficult task of securing new sponsorship. While other drivers and their teams were settled in for the off season building cars and acquiring new equipment, the mood was much different in DuBois.
Team members were laid off and the race shop was eerily quiet. Instead of hunkering down in the shop to wait out the cold, snowy Pennsylvania winter building cars and developing new setups, Benny was on the phone working hard to find that unclaimed sponsor for another run at the Hooters Pro Cup National Championship. Days, weeks and months flew by with hundreds of hours spent on the phone working contact after contact, following lead after lead looking in all parts of the country to find the sponsors he needed.
And the hard work has paid off.
In late February, Samuel, Son and Company Limited signed on board as the primary sponsor for 2007. The Samuel Company is a family owned metal processing and distributing company headquartered in Ontario, Canada with more than 80 facilities located throughout Canada and the United States and more than 4,500 employees. Todd Gordon, Benny’s brother and crew chief, was responsible for recognizing the opportunity with Samuel. Todd’s business, GorTech a steel fabrication business and part-time sponsor last year for the No. 8 car of Johnny Rumley, does business with Samuel.
The racing season is looking much brighter now and Gordon is very eager with the new opportunities it brings.
"It’s very exciting to announce the formation of this new race team, North/South Motorsports, to campaign the No. 66 Ford," said Gordon. "The team was born through reuniting with my former team owner Johnny Dangerfield of Moncks Corner, S.C. Johnny brings his love of racing, his sponsor from last year, the Automotive Development Group (ADG) and his dealerships, Johnny’s Suzuki to the team as associate sponsors this year. Without Johnny this would not have been possible."
In addition to the support from ADG and Johnny’s, Benny will be running the familiar Predator Engines and Chassis for 2007.
"I just can’t thank Denny and Becky Raybuck for all of the support over the last three years and their continued support in 2007," said Gordon. "While not the primary sponsors this year, I am very pleased to have the cars, hauler and equipment from last year including a modern shop to campaign from in 2007. The Raybuck’s have been very generous."
Also joining Johnny’s, ADG and Predator will be Murray’s Freightliner of DuBois and Greased
Lightning cleaning products.
"I am very fortunate to have such a great sponsor as Greg Murray. Greg is a returning sponsor
in 2007 providing a tractor for the hauler and vehicles for team transportation. Not only does
Greg help with the financial end of this deal, but he travels to many of the races where he helps
in the pits preparing the cars. He also is the sign holder during my pit stops."
Benny is also happy to be associated with the fine folks of Greased Lightning� as a
contingency sponsor for 2007.
"The program they have developed for support in 2007 is going to be beneficial to more than
just one team. I certainly will be working hard to win the money at each race and at the $15,000
prize at the end of the year."
Sporting familiar colors of black, red and trimmed in white, Benny will be returning to defend his Northern Division Championship with the rest of the No. 66n team, minus two key players.
Donnie Betton, the car chief from last year, has decided not to come back this year and Benny’s nephew Ryan Gordon, front tire gunman, has moved to Mooresville, N.C. to pursue a career with Michael Waltrup Racing.
"Both will be hard to replace but the rest of the team is back and anxious to get to the track," said Gordon. "The shop guys are hard at work preparing two cars with new graphics and the construction of a third car. The rest of the team is practicing pits stops in preparation for the opening race in South Boston."
Fans can see Benny at all of the Northern Division races in 2007 and two Southern Division races, Myrtle Beach on June 23 and Bristol on August 22.