Mid-Race Invert Goes Benjamin’s Way

Kyle Benjamin in victory lane with his parents after winning Friday's Southern Super Series feature at Five Flags Speedway. (Speed51 Photo)
Kyle Benjamin in victory lane with his parents after winning Friday’s Southern Super Series feature at Five Flags Speedway. (Speed51 Photo)

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Drivers in the deep south have been asking for a Super Late Model series like the Sunoco Southern Super Series for many years. And when they got their wish and it came with its quirks. One of those quirks, an invert after the lap 75 break, is what put teenager Kyle Benjamin in JEGS victory lane at Five Flags Speedway.

Benjamin grabbed his first Sunoco Southern Super Series victory in the Navy Federal Credit Union 125 presented by Driven Racing Oil at Five Flags Speedway after advancing from fifth to first on the lap 75 inversion.

The first 75-lap segment of the 125-lap event was dominated by a battle for the top spot between series point leaders Bubba Pollard and Daniel Hemric. Following the lap-75 restart, Pollard and Hemric wasted no time in making their way back up to the front of the field behind Benjamin and Enfinger holding the top spots. The eventual battle for the runner-up spot between Enfinger and Pollard was just the ticket for Benjamin. The duo battled for the second position for the final 20 laps of the event which allowed Benjamin to step out to a healthy lead and eventually capture the win.

“”The invert helped us,”” explained Benjamin. “We made some adjustments at the break that I feel like helped us a little bit. They got battling behind us and that was obviously good for us. The longer they stayed back there side by side the more I could pull on them.””

The Navy Federal 125 victory marks Benjamin’s first Sunoco Southern Super Series victory and also makes him the fourth consecutive first-time Buddy’s Home Furnishings Blizzard Series winner. The win comes after Benjamin and team made a mid-season crew chief change putting Michael Masters atop the pit box after parting ways with long-time mentor Freddie Query.

“”I can’’t tell you how excited I am right now,”” said Benjamin. “”We’’ve been trying so hard to win here and we have finally pulled it off. With five laps to go I was thinking, ‘Five to go, four to go, three to go… please just end.’ So I’’d like to thank my dad, Michael Masters and the entire crew for all they’’ve done working so hard this weekend.””

Capturing his first win at the historic venue was not the only thing Benjamin was proud of, he also beat some pretty stout on-track competition to earn it.