‘No.1 pick’ Benjamin can’t wait for Toledo

(TOLEDO, Ohio - May 10, 2013) - Kyle Benjamin was at Toledo Speedway Thursday, testing for the upcoming Menards 200 presented Federated Car Care.

For him, the one-day test session as almost like a break in the action. That's because he was able to fly to Toledo.

"Luckily, we flew here," he said. "I've been on the road so much lately. I think we went back and forth to Indiana about 15 times.  It's a lot, being on the road."

Benjamin isn't complaining, however. The 15-year-old high school sophomore is happy when he gets to a race track.

"When we get to the race track, it makes it all worth it," he said. "I just think we need like a private jet."

Benjamin will be making his third start of the 2013 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season at the Menards 200 May 19. He will be driving the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports car that he already has captured one SCOTT Rookie Challenge award and a second-place finish. And, he holds the distinction of being the youngest driver to ever start an ARCA Racing Series event.

"Coming to Toledo is a really big deal," he said. "I have a really good car and the crew has worked so hard on it. I can't wait to get here for the race. I really want to win this one - I want to win all of my races, but this one would be great."

Benjamin isn't concentrating on any one series or running for any championship in points this year. Instead, he's criss-crossing the country in his family-owned late model and the ARCA Racing Series.

"This year is about winning races," he said. "I want to get to as many different tracks as I can and gain all the experience," he said. "I want to win races - championships don't really matter right now."

He's certainly gaining national attention with his races. He's the youngest ARCA/CRA Super Series winner in series history when he won at Lucas Oil Raceway at the age of 14 a year ago. He also won four straight late model races at New Smyrna Speedway (Fla.) during Speedweeks, 2013.

Benjamin typically travels to test sessions with his father, Steven Benjamin. He is enrolled through an online home-schooled program to keep up with his studies.

"I don't know what I would do without that," he said. "I'd probably be expelled or something."

This week, Benjamin found out he was chosen as the overall No. 1 "draft" choice in a Speed51.com poll. Now in its 10th year, the Speed51.com short track draft annually asks motorsports experts, media members and others who they would sign to a development contract if they were in charge of race teams. 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski was among those who submitted names.

"That's a pretty big deal," he said. "I used to read about the Short Track draft when I was a kid. Well, I guess I still am a kid. But, it's nice and an honor. It's neat to think someone like Brad Keselowski even knows my name."

Another reason Benjamin is anxious for the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care is its going to be broadcast live on SPEED.

"I think this is my first-ever TV race," Benjamin said. "That is really going to be awesome. I can't wait for the race. I'm ready to race today."