Benson Faces Sponsor Dilemma; Speed TV Says No To Gun Company

Brandon CaldwellCorrespondent IApril 10, 2009

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 11:  Johnny Benson, driver of the #1 K&N Toyota, stands in garage area during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 11, 2009 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, Johnny Benson, and his No. 1 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra, began the 2009 season without sponsor.

After getting a two race deal from K&N Filters, Benson's team continued on without sponsorship.

Then Johnny Benson found some sponsorship. It was a gun company. The name was undisclosed, and Benson and the team submitted it to NASCAR for approval.

NASCAR came back and told Benson that the sponsor was disapproved.

Benson was curious why, so he asked NASCAR.

NASCAR had said that they had originally approved it, and when NASCAR submitted it to SPEED TV, that it was SPEED that declined the approval.

In SPEED's original contract with NASCAR, they had signed saying that they would not support any gun manufacturing company, or dealership, by not showing the trucks on their television network.

Yet, in the Daytona race in 2009, had funded three trucks.

So obviously, SPEED TV had thought that was acceptable to show on their network, but not Benson's sponsor.

This is ridiculous.

I love SPEED, but they are way out of line here. If they can show one gun company, then they should open the door for all of them.

But this is also partially NASCAR's fault. Why NASCAR lets their sponsors, TV companies, etc. choose why can and cannot be on a racecar.

SPEED's job is to show the race, that's it. They should not dictate what goes on what car/truck.

I feel bad for Benson, and his team, and yes, even Jeff Hammond.

This is something that shouldn't happen, especially in this economy, and even more so when there is another gun manufacturing company in the series.

If I were Benson's team, I would run the sponsor anyway, because if he wins the race, SPEED has to show the victory lane celebration.

If they don't people will turn off NASCAR's third tier series, and SPEED will lose ratings, and that won't happen, so if I were Red Horse Racing, I would put the ball in SPEED's court.

I'm very disappointed in SPEED TV's lack of judgement, and fairness in this situation.