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Benson claims Built Ford Tough 225 Crown

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By Paul Gable

Johnny Benson learned a valuable lesson last year at the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway—when you are driving well, just park the truck.

However, it took Benson a year to learn how valuable the lesson was. A year ago, Benson had a fast truck during practice and continued adjusting his truck.

This year, Benson did not make the same mistake, opting to park his truck for the final 35 minutes of practice on July 18 prior to the July 19 race.

"We learned a big lesson last year in practice. We kept freeing it up and freeing it up and we were super fast in practice. We were just super fast in practice, and then we got into the race, and I just couldn't drive it because it was so loose. When we got to that point this year, where I thought I was where I was at last year, I quit practice. We just parked it, sat there and waited for today's event. Fortunately it worked out for us," Benson said.

Did it ever as Benson led 94 laps on his way to winning the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway Saturday evening at Kentucky Speedway.

"The race was great. It's a pleasure to go out and race with these guys and try to win," Benson said.

The race to Victory Lane came as a result of a four-wide pass Benson made with 32 laps remaining.

Benson was third behind Bill Davis Racing teammate Michael Annett and Dennis Setzer for the restart on lap 119 . Chad Chaffin was the top truck a lap down on the inside.

"It was pretty cool, at least on my end. I am sure some of the other guys didn't like it," Benson said of the pass. "I had a tremendous run off Turn 2 and got alongside the 18 (Setzer). We both had good runs on the 22 (Annett), and we made a mad dash to the corner. I expected (Setzer) to turn left, and he did, and I had to turn left. I had the best spot," Benson said.

With his second win of the season, Benson moved into the points lead by one point over Matt Crafton, who finished third.

Annett netted his first top-five and second top-10 finish of the season in only his third start. He jumped from seventh to second during the four-wide battle.

"Johnny got a great run on the inside of us. I just kept following his line and learned more in 20 laps behind him than I did in two days of practice here," Annett said.

Early on, it appeared as if Kyle Busch would contend for the race championship, leading a total of 43 laps; however, on lap 50, Busch made a green flag stop, turning the lead over to Mike Skinner. The move proved to be disastrous for Busch, who rebounded to finish the race sixth, as Chrissy Wallace sent the race under caution after spinning between turns three and four and slamming into the wall and knocking a portion of the wall loose. The race was red flagged for almost 11 minutes as crews tried to repair the wall.

"I was battling with Jack Sprague and driving pretty aggressive into turn 3. He took the air off and I got loose and backed it into the wall," Wallace said.

Nine of the 36 trucks that started the race were unable to finish, most notably Todd Bodine, who was involved in a three truck wreck on lap 128. There were eight cautions totaling 36 laps during the race, and there were seven lead changes among five drivers.