It has been a trying 2020 season for three-time Oxford 250 champion Travis Benjamin. He enters this weekend’s PASS doubleheader at Oxford Plains Speedway winless on the season despite sitting third in series points.
His top-three points sitting is thanks in part to a strong start to the 2020 PASS season, finishing in the top-five in all but one of the first six races of the season. Since then however, he hasn’t finished better than seventh while finishing outside the top 10 in two of the last three races.
“We started out the season awesome. The first six races, we had five top-fives and I was really excited. Lately we haven’t been so good, we’ve kind of struggled as of late,” Benjamin told Speed51. “I think 2020’s wore on me and I’m pretty burnt out on it right now.”
It has been a busy year for Benjamin, both at and away from the racetrack. While competing in 15 races in a short time span, his family-owned business has been as busy as its ever been. That mixed with limited time in the shop has created the perfect storm.
“We tried doing 15 races in the last three or four months and it’s just been hard. I don’t have any full-time people working on the car anymore so me and my guys are doing it on our own at night after work. Our business is in the swamp, it’s wicked busy, which is a good problem to have. It’s been a grueling season, let’s put it that way.”
If there was one place for Benjamin to turn his 2020 season around, it would be at Oxford. The Maine driver has scored six of his 13 career PASS wins at the 3/8-mile oval, with three of those wins coming in the Northeast’s biggest race. He also has two PASS North titles to his credit, having won at least one race in the series every year since 2016.
Last year’s October PASS North race at Oxford drew 34 cars to the Maine facility, with an even bigger number possibly expected for this weekend.
“I always love going to Oxford. We’ve been struggling since the 250 but the first three races we got two thirds, and the third one we were leading and we fell off at the end there. I’m hoping we’ll be good, we need a good run.
“It’s always a big race, there will probably be 50 cars there this weekend. We’ve been good there, we need to be better,” he added. “If there’s going to be a place to turn it around for us, it would be that place for sure.”
In four previous PASS stars at Oxford in 2020, he has two third-place runs and a tenth before finishing 24th in the Oxford 250. Benjamin will go into Sunday’s finale with a change of scenery compared to his previous starts at Oxford.
“We’ve been running my older car all season, we’re going to take our other car this weekend. We’re going to try to learn about that thing a little more. I think we’re close with it. Last year we were running it and I thought we were going to be really good with it at Oxford. It fell off on me but we were fast in practice. Hopefully we can get it figured out.”
He says the key to win this weekend starts with unloading the car off the trailer with the amount of drivers expected to be in attendance.
“It’s just being there at the end, obviously. You’ve got to unload good because you won’t get a whole lot of practice and when you do practice there’s going to be a whole lot of cars everywhere, which makes it tough to get a good feel of the car. I think we’ll be good, we should be.”
Fans who are unable to make it to Oxford Plains Speedway for Saturday and Sunday’s doubleheader can watch it live on Speed51.TV. Click here to purchase your PPV ticket today.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo