Benson Finds A Sponsor For Rest Of Year
August 1, 2000 | 12:00 A.M. EST
ATLANTA -- Johnny Benson's NASCAR Winston Cup car will no longer resemble a speeding marshmallow.
Benson, one of the surprises of the 2000 Winston Cup season, will be able to finish the season, thanks to Atlanta-based Aaron Rents, which will sponsor Benson's now-all-white car through the end of the season.
Benson, 16th in the point standings, and his MB2 Motorsports team said they would be forced to shut down after Saturday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway if financial backing for the remainder of the season could not be found.
Just yesterday, RacingOne.com reported that Benson's team was still searching for a sponsor.
"Right now, we are actively searching for a sponsor for the rest of 2000," said Jay Frye, MB2 Motorsports general manager. "We are kind of in an uncertain position with the No. 10 car."
MB2, owned by Atlanta residents Read Morton, Tom Beard and Nelson Bowers, purchased Benson's team from Tim Beverly on July 20. Pending final approval, Valvoline has signed on as a sponsor for 2001.
The agreement with Aaron Rents funds the team for the final 15 races of the season, starting with the Brickyard 400.
"This opportunity with Johnny Benson happened quite by accident," said Mike Hickey of Aaron Rents. "We saw a newspaper article last week about the team needing a sponsor. We got on the phone and one thing led to another."
Lycos sponsored Benson through the first 16 events before a contract dispute ended that association.
Not much was expected from Benson this season after he signed with Beverly's unheralded team. But he nearly pulled off an upset in the Daytona 500, leading NASCAR's biggest race until the final four laps, and he finished a career-best second in the Food City 500 at Bristol, Tenn., in March.