The initial opener for the Northwest Series was slated for March 27th at Evergreen Speedway but was canceled due to rain. The season opener was then prolonged to April 24th at Tri-City raceway and it proved to be a good one as Travis Bennett in the #33 Bowman's Electro Painting/Zebs Truck Stop Chevrolet came home with a second place finish. Fighting a loose car all day in practice, qualifying was not something to look forward to. However, after locking in a fourth place qualifying run, Bennett and team were set at ease.
Fast qualifier Gary Lewis drew a 6 car invert putting Bennett on the inside of row two to take the green flag. Travis quickly secured his spot in the top 5 and wouldn't look back. On the longer runs the tires were much easier to work with and Travis was able to race closely with eventual race winner Jason Jefferson putting on an exciting show for the fans. Many cautions slowed the field during the 125 lap event. Dodging several wrecks, Travis held off Brandon Riehl and Garrett Evans to capture a second place finish, his first top three in the Northwest Elite Division.
"I'm excited to start off my rookie season in the Northwest Elite Division this way. We certainly didn't expect this in our first race of the season with a new team. We just wanted to finish in the top 10 but our second place finish shows just how hard my crew worked to supply me with a great car to compete with."
Team owner Donny Scriver was all smiles, "There's times in racing where your spending a ton of money and it gets to a point where you just don't want to anymore. Then your rookie driver finishes second in the first race of the season and it's more than worth it."
The second race of the season is set for May 8th on the 3/8ths in Monroe. " I'm not really looking forward to that race. I've never raced there but hopefully I can use my experience from racing in the Southwest Series this year at Madera and El Cajon to guide me through the 3/8ths,"said Bennett.
Look for Travis in the #33 Bowman's Electro Painting/Zebs Truck Stop Chevrolet to continue his stride for rookie of the year in the Autozone Northwest Elite Division, May 8th at Evergreen Speedway.