Tag Archives: Tyler Benson

GRC Lites Race Preview: Charlotte Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: Joni Wiman will attempt to win his fifth consecutive GRC Lites race at The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as well as trying to lock up the inaugural series title on points before the season finale.


ENTRY LIST: CLICK HERE for the full entry list.


LAST RACE: For the second race in a row, Joni Wiman, Mitchell deJong, and Sebastian Eriksson comprised the podium at Atlanta Motor Speedway. While deJong and Eriksson fought an intense battle for second place, Wiman scored his fourth consecutive victory and stretched his championship lead to 22 points.

DRIVER CHANGES: Reinis Nitiss will not race in Charlotte, yielding the #15 car to potential new drivers. Aside from Tyler Benson’s number change from #4 to #60, in honor of his father, former NFL Pro Bowl center Brad Benson, there are no other changes to the entry list.

THE TRACK: Unlike 2012, this year’s Charlotte race will take place on the Dirt Track facility adjacent to the stock car oval. The track, primarily comprised of dirt, will feature multiple obstacles, including sections that will take cars out of, and back into, the facility.

WIMAN’S CHAMPIONSHIP SCENARIO: With a 22-point lead over Sebastian Eriksson, Joni Wiman is guaranteed to maintain the points lead in the season finale unless he fails to start on Sunday. A lead of 23 points or more would lock up the inaugural GRC Lites title for Wiman; he needs to only finish in front of Eriksson, and win as many or more heat races than him, to do so.

DEJONG EARNS SUPERCAR TEST: Mitchell deJong shook down Bryce Menzies’ #99 Pastrana Racing Dodge Dart on Saturday, becoming the first GRC Lites driver to climb into a Supercar for any reason on a GRC race weekend. With neither Menzies nor Pastrana available on Saturday due to other commitments, the fellow Red Bull driver offered his services to the team and turned his first laps in the car in the parking lot.

BENSON RETURNS TO SERIES: Tyler Benson made his GRC Lites debut last month at Atlanta Motor Speedway, substituting for Halid Avdagic in the #4 car. He’ll make his second start in Charlotte, with a completely different look: the car has been renumbered to #60, and the New Jersey-based Brad Benson Auto Group will back him. Benson owns the largest Hyundai dealer in the state of New Jersey.


  1. Joni Wiman, 84
  2. Sebastian Eriksson, 62
  3. Mitchell deJong, 55

GRC Lites Race Preview: Atlanta Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: GRC Lites begins the second half of its season at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as drivers attempt to top Joni Wiman and become only the second winner in class history.


ENTRY LIST: CLICK HERE for the full entry list.


LAST RACE: Joni Wiman’s dominance of the GRC Lites class continued at X Games Los Angeles, as he ran away with his third straight victory and a gold medal hanging around his neck. Mitchell deJong cruised to the silver medal, while Sebastian Eriksson—who had to give up second place due to a stop-and-go penalty—inherited third place when Alexander Westlund crashed in the race’s late stages.

THE TRACK: Atlanta’s ten-corner layout runs clockwise, utilizing much of the tri-oval and pit road sections of the oval. The tabletop jump returns to the oval frontstretch, while two long straightaways mean that cars with higher horsepower may have an advantage.

DRIVER CHANGES: Tyler Benson, son of former Super Bowl champion and NFL Pro Bowl selection Brad Benson, will take over for Halid Avdagic in the renumbered #60 car. Benson brings to GRC Lites a wealth of motorsports experience, from power boats to ATVs, and was trained by the Skip Barber Racing School at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of Saturday’s GRC Lites event at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

Tyler Benson, Driver, #60 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites: “I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. But being my first race, I’m going into it more as a learning type experience. I don’t expect to be in the back, but in reality I don’t expect to be in the front—I want to go out and learn what these cars are about, because I haven’t had a chance to get any seat time in them yet. I just want to get acclimated to the car, so that way, for the next race, I’m ready to keep progressing and pushing it harder.”

Geoff Sykes, Driver, #65 OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites: “I did a little bit of training from X Games until now. I went to RallyPro at The Firm and spent a couple of days there fine-tuning my off-road skills, so I’m hoping to come in faster than I’ve been previously. I did a quick track walk and we’re going to have a lot of consistency changes with the asphalt—with the drag races here, it’ll be sticky asphalt on the inside, the regular NASCAR track on the outside, the grass on the inside. So there are going to be a lot of different changes here that we won’t see, so that’s going to be a lot of learning quickly. The schedule’s going to be a lot easier on us, so we are going to get a little bit of time to make changes on the car. The biggest change that I’m making in myself is that the easiest way to get time out of the car is the driver. Hopefully I’ve got a little bit more honed skills in off road and we’ll come in ready to battle.”


  1. Joni Wiman, 63
  2. Sebastian Eriksson, 46
  3. Kevin Eriksson, 41
  4. Alexander Westlund, 39
  5. Mitchell deJong, 38