Benjamin to Make Modified Debut
February 12, 2014 | 10:41 A.M. EST
Kyle Larson raced the No. 7NY last year in the Battle at the Beach. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
Kyle Benjamin will make his NASCAR Whelen Modified debut in the UNOH Battle at the Beach at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The 16-year-old will drive the No. 7NY GP Racing entry owned by Gary Putnam and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief Kevin "Bono" Manion.
RainEater Wiper Blades will sponsor Benjamin for the race along with his No. 71 Super Late Model in the 48th annual World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway for seven nights of action spanning from Friday, Feb. 14 to Saturday, Feb. 22.
Benjamin captured 15 victories, including two in the ARCA Series in 2013, over the last two years. His win last season at Madison International Speedway made him the youngest winner in ARCA Series history.
"This is a really cool opportunity for me, and I'm grateful that Bono wants me in his car for such a high-profile event," said Benjamin. "He only puts the best all-around racers in his car, so to join that list is a privilege."
The No. 7NY has seen the likes of Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, J.J. Yeley and Kyle Larson pilot the entry in recent years. Newman captured four Whelen Tour victories for Manion across 2010 and 2011. In last year's inaugural Battle, Larson set fast time in qualifying and won his heat race, but finished 16th in the feature race after starting from the front row. Manion seeks a win this year in the exhibition event.
"Putting this car on the track is a thrill for me, and to put a talented, hungry young kid like Kyle in the car is a great reward," said Manion. "He's new to the world of Modifieds, but he isn't a novice on short tracks. We expect him to contend for a win."
RainEater Wiper Blades reunites with Benjamin after riding shotgun with him in his NASCAR debut in the K&N Pro Series East race last fall at Dover International Speedway. Benjamin finished third.
Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – will broadcast the second annual UNOH Battle at the Beach at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18. The unique short-track event will take place on a .37-mile oval located on the Superstretch at DIS. MRN's live coverage of the races will start at 6:45 p.m. (ET) and will be streamed live at www.motorracingnetwork.com.