Norm Benning continues to be one of NASCAR’s few remaining journeymen.
After 35 years of making appearances in the ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR Truck Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series, and even making several attempts at qualifying for the Daytona 500, the 71-year-old driver is still looking for ways to make waves.
More than a decade ago, when the NASCAR Truck Series first ventured onto the dirt at Eldora Speedway, Norm Benning was the talk of Rosburg, Ohio, after beating out Clay Greenfield in a slugfest to claim the final spot in the inaugural MudSummer Classic.
It was that show-stopping performance that began the garnering of a cult-like following for Benning, who in the years since has become one of, if not the most popular underdog in all of NASCAR.
So, when the Level Green, Pennsylvania-native entered last year’s season-opener at Daytona and launched the No. 46 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro inside the top-10 on the practice charts, people went bananas, and for good reason.
Even though a lack of single-truck speed resulted in Benning missing the show, the wheels instantly began to turn within the mind of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series veteran, leading him to this current avenue, which he’s been pursuing for the last six months.
Benning is currently in the process of finalizing a deal to compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, and says that the organization he’s working with is top-tier, and would provide him the “best opportunity I’ve ever had”.
“If we can put this together, it’s gonna be good,” said Benning of the opportunity ahead.
There’s one small problem, though. Benning hasn’t quite secured the funding necessary to stake his claim on the seat, meaning that without an influx of support in the eleventh hour, the 71-year-old may have to forfeit an opportunity he’s waited his entire career for.
At this time, Benning is choosing to keep the exact details of his potential Daytona conquest a secret but is hopeful that his hardcore fans, who have watched him build one of the longest careers in NASCAR, will support him as he chases the best opportunity of his career — through a donation, a sponsorship, a referral, or even just word-of-mouth, which in the modern-day of social media can be a powerful tool.
It’s getting to be crunch time, though. When speaking to TobyChristie.com on Thursday, Benning was clear that he’s working with a deadline, in which he has about 10 days before he needs the remainder of the funding to be squared away.
“I’m not looking for one person. I mean, it’s possible, but I would rather just people the opportunity to get their name on the truck,” said Benning. “We’re just running out of time here pretty quick, but right now, I got just enough money to get in trouble, you know what I mean? So, everything helps at this point.”
Those interested in assisting Norm Benning in reaching his goal for the season-opener at Daytona — through sponsorship, a donation, or any other means — can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.