Truck series points leader Johnny Benson was on “Tradin’ Paint” on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio and broke the news that he would not be back at Bill Davis Racing next season.
"About three or four weeks ago I had a conversation with Bill [Davis] and, of course, the people up at Bill Davis [Racing] and I’m opting to try and do something different.
"I threw around the idea of maybe retiring at the end of the season but when I had said that a bunch of opportunities come up. It was like, you know what, am I going to retire? Am I going to try to do a part time deal, go have some fun and spend time with the family and go do just some off races and things of this nature?
"The truck series is such a great series but you can go run 10 Cup races and make more money than to run the whole season. But I don’t necessarily know if I want to do that either.
"Now it seems kind of odd to do that, to be in a situation to run for a championship and then want to leave but there’s a couple of other little issues and things of this nature. But the thing I like about this business, whether we win this championship or not, when I came over to Bill’s they were about 25th in points, 25th to 28th or something like that. We were able to build a team and move it up to a championship contender scenario. I like doing those things. But I want to win a championship. I want to finish that off."
What really struck me was that he could make more in 10 Cup races then a full season in the Truck Series. But it's true and really no contest.
Benson has made 23 starts in the Truck Series this season. He has won five time and snagged 17 top 10s. Total winnings: $729,910
Compare that to Dario Franchitti, who flamed out after making 10 starts in the Cup series. His average finish was 34th with a best of 22nd. Total winnings: $1,008,351
I had never really given it much thought before. Personally, I think it's kind of sad that an also-ran Cup driver -- and that's being kind -- can make that much more than a possible Truck champion.
And it's not a whole lot better in the Nationwide Series. Think about this for a second. Kyle Busch has made 28 starts and won a whopping 10 times. Yet he still has made just $282,000 more than Franchitti did in 10 horrible, horrible Cup starts.
C'mon, you're telling me 10 wins in the Nationwide Series alone isn't worth 10 Cup finishes of 34th?
You know, I always assumed it was better to be in a competitive car or truck in the Nationwide or Truck Series than a backmarker in the Cup Series. But clearly that's not the case, if you want to make any money. Now it makes sense that so many drivers take Cup rides with teams they know full well have no chance at success.
But what do you think:
Would you rather stink up the joint in the Cup Series while collecting a nice check or drive a car that you know is competitive and that can win week in/week out in one of the lower tier series?