ORONO, ON – After coming within a hair’s breadth of a first career Sunset Speedway Ltd. Late Model track championship in 2018, Danny Benedict is ready for another run towards a division title this season.
With a talent-laden roster filling out Sunset’s headline division, Benedict understands the importance of starting strong and building momentum right from Opening Night.
“Your first night is going to set the tone for the rest of the season – good or bad,” offers Benedict. “It’s the one night all year that absolutely shows who’s done their homework over the Winter who hasn’t. There really isn’t any place to hide on the first night of the season – if you aren’t ready it’s going to be real obvious.”
The second-generation star put his theory to good use in 2018, utilizing an Opening Night victory to catapult his family-owned team into championship contention – eventually falling just short of multi-time Sunset Speedway champion Gord Shepherd.
“When we won (on Opening Night) last year I feel like it showed the entire division that we were for real,” explains Benedict. “The goal is to do the exact same thing this season. 2018 wasn’t a fluke for us. We didn’t ‘luck’ our way into competing for a championship.”
“I’d like to think that we work every bit as hard as any other team in this division and I know that we can contend for wins every week. Opening Night will be our first chance to prove all of that and we want to make sure we take advantage of the opportunity.”
Having been selected as one of the 7 finalists for the Kulwicki Development program, Benedict is ready for another chance at cementing himself in Sunset Speedway’s history books.
“It was an honour to battle with Gord (Shepherd) all season,” says Benedict. “We would have loved to come away with a championship but I can’t begin to explain how much experience we took away from last season. That in itself made the whole year worth it.”
“We’ve showed how good we can be as a team and now we have to come back even stronger and put together a complete season. There were some missteps and mistakes that I think cost us a better chance at the championship last season – and now its on us to learn from those mistakes and be better than ever.”
Danny Benedict’s 2019 Sunset Speedway season is supported by the Kulwicki Driver Development Program, Shaw Motorsports, GTA Racing Design, Mayhew Graphics, The Homesmiths, B&W Enterprises, Hoy’s Garage, Dan McHattie Race Cars, Baudo Automotive and Irwin Tax & Accounting.