Johnson & Benson Are Great Examples of the ASA 'We Build Champions' Motto From ASA PR
Former ASA Driver Win Championships in NASCAR's Top Levels
'We Build Champions' has long been the motto of the American Speed Association going back to its day of being a single national series. Two former ASA champions are back in the headlines as Jimmie Johnson recently won his third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and Johnny Benson won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship.
Jimmie Johnson celebrates winning his third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Johnson went from an off-road racing career to an asphalt career in 1998 when he joined Herzog Motorsports and famous crew chief Howie Lettow.
His first year in the American Speed Association National Tour, he won the Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year and finished fourth in points.
In 1999, he finished third in points with two victories, Memphis Motorsports Park (TN) and Orange County Speedway (Kenly, NC).
The following year, he moved up, to what is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series, where he finished tenth in points.
Here is one interesting side note from Johnson?s ASA career. When he lived in Pewaukee, WI driving for Herzog Motorsports, his roommate was a guy named Ron Malec. Malec and Johnson became good friends and he moved with Johnson down to North Carolina.
Today, Malec serves as the car chief for the three-time championship team.
Benson's career in the American Speed Association pretty much mirrored the success he has had in NASCAR.
In 1990, he was teamed with the legendary Bob Senneker and drove for Throop Motorsports. That year he finished eighth in the points standing and won the Pat Schauer Rookie of the Year honors.
He would follow that up in 1993 as he won the ASA National Championship with five victories and ten pole positions. That success catapulted him to what is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series where he was the 1994 Rookie of the Year and the 1995 Series champion.
He continued his string of titles in 1996 when driving for Chuck Rider in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and was Rookie of the Year that season. He does have one Cup victory that came in 2002 at Rockingham.
Today, the American Speed Association sanctions 11 regional touring series and 31 racetracks through its ASA Member Track program.
The 'We Build Champions' tradition continues as each series recently crowned its 2008 champions.
The American Speed Association Member Track program recently crowned its first National Champion with Cary Stapp of Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle, TX beating out over a thousand other drivers for the title. Through the help of the title sponsor Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil, Stapp received a tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing 2 weeks ago.
"With the growth that the American Speed Association has seen by becoming one of the leading sanctioning bodies in the racing industry, we are able build more champions from all across the United States," Dennis Huth, American Speed Association President stated. "Jimmie Johnson and Johnny Benson are two great examples of champions who have come from running the weekly racing programs or a successful regional series to become a NASCAR champion today. Johnson and Benson are just two names in a great list of champions from the American Speed Association."
To learn more of the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based ASA Racing Member Track program or its sanctioning series, call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to email@example.com. For news and information from all the racetracks and regional tours involved in the ASA, visit www.ASA-Racing.com.
Johnny Benson celebrates winning the 2008 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)