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September 18, 2018

‘Classic Moments’ Countdown: #22 Johnny Benson’s Surprise Victory – 1966 International Classic


OSWEGO, NY – As the countdown officially begins toward the 58th annual Budweiser International Classic 200 for Novelis Supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway on Sunday, August 31, we look back at the Top 30 moments in International Classic history, with the assistance of George Caruso’s ’50 Most Memorable Moments of the International Classic.’

Johnny Benson shocked the crowd with his 1966 win in Oswego Speedway's International Classic.

Johnny Benson shocked the crowd with his 1966 win in Oswego Speedway’s International Classic.

With 22 days remaining until the International Classic, the countdown continues with No. 22, Johnny Benson’s surprise victory in the 1966 International Classic.

Just when most thought the Michigan invasion at the Speedway was over; Benson rode into the ’66 Classic with his white, upright No. 21 Supermodified and stole the show.

Other than a rather obscure 30th place DNF in the 1964 Classic, Benson had never truly tried to compete at Oswego until the ’66 edition of the great race.

Benson adapted quite well to Oswego, setting fast time in qualifications, and as it turned out his main competition all weekend long would be Bentley Warren in the Howard Purdy owned Deuce.

Warren timed in second fastest with the No. 2, and gave Benson some stiff competition early on in the event.  However, Warren would drop out of the event later on handing chase duties over to 1965 Classic winner Gordon Dukes.

Dukes took the lead just past the lap 150 mark, but with 20-laps left Benson retook the point and held off Dukes to claim the surprise Classic victory.

Now, the Michigan invasion was over as ’66 Classic winner Benson would be the last driver from the state of Michigan to win the prestigious International Classic.

Dukes would trail Benson across the line for the runner-up position with Baldy Baker, Norm Mackareth, and Jim Shampine finishing the top five.

Paul Clark, Wayne McGuire, Al Wood, Jack Murphy, and Jim Gresley were the top ten finishers in the ’66 200.

To purchase tickets for Budweiser International Classic Weekend and the 58th

annual Budweiser International Classic 200, call the Speedway’s box office today at (315) 342-0646.

For more information on Oswego Speedway visit online at www.oswegospeedway.com or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway or FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway.  Those interested in Speedway video programming online can subscribe to the Speedway’s YouTube Channel, ‘OswegoSpeedwayOnline’

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