Rockingham: Benson scores first win

Johnny Benson won his maiden NASCAR Winston Cup race at Rockingham, North Carolina, on Sunday afternoon, just holding off a hard-charging Mark Martin to score victory in his Valvoline Pontiac - his first win in 226 starts

Rockingham: Benson scores first win

Fuel strategy came into play, but Benson had just enough to cross the finish line ahead of Martin. His car had to be pushed into pit lane after the race, however, as the tank was dry.

"This crew has deserved one for a very long time," said Benson afterwards. "I can be OK with myself as far as if I won one or not. But, we've been close so many times, and I'm glad we could get through it clean."

Benson praised rival Martin's driving in the closing stages: "Mark's the best racer here. He's one of those guys that is very good. Everyone says he is the best guy that has never won a championship and I was the best who never won a race."

Rounding out the top 10 were Kurt Busch, Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Mike Skinner, Bobby Labonte, Matt Kenseth, Ricky Craven and Jeff Green.

Points leader Tony Stewart, who led by 146 points over Mark Martin coming into the race, suffered handling problems from the beginning and finished 14th. Martin now trails Stewart by 87 points with two races to go.

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