Saturday Night Review
The most recent winner in the ARCA Racing Series is coming back to Mobile International Speedway this Saturday night to compete in the Southern Super Series Mobile 125 Presented by RE Suspensions.
In other words, Kyle Benjamin is coming home.
The 16-year-old hails from Easley, S.C. but has found a second home of sorts at Alabama’s Fastest Half-mile. The 16-year-old has had a lot of success there too, finding Victory Lane in both the Pro Late Model and Super Late Model divisions.
But it was his dominant performance in the ARCA Mobile 200 in March that really endeared himself to the fans in Irvington. The race was his ARCA Series debut and he went door-to-door with one of Mobile’s best in Grant Enfinger. Benjamin failed to defeat the Mobile veteran on that day but won over a ton of fans in the process.
Benjamin has always felt appreciated and admired by Gulf Coast racing family but has really noticed an increase of support following his ARCA debut at the facility.
“The fans at Mobile have been great going back to my first Pro Late Model race there a few years ago,” Benjamin said. “It’s one of my favorite tracks to race at and I really enjoy talking to the fans there. When people ask me if I have a home track, I’m quick to tell them that it’s Mobile.”
Benjamin won a Super Late Model race at Mobile last summer and has enjoyed the same sort of success in his inaugural ARCA Racing Series season as well. After missing out on winning in his first start at Mobile, he’s adjusted quickly, winning races at Madison and Salem — the latter coming just this past Saturday night — both for Venturini Motorsports.
His ARCA crew chief, veteran Kevin Reed has been pleasantly surprised at his young driver’s maturity and adjustment speed.
“Kyle has won a lot in Late Models but we weren’t sure if his age and inexperience would translate into success so early in the ARCA Series,” Reed said. “He’s definitely proven his abilities.”
And now, Benjamin looks to return to his roots, return home to Mobile and perhaps return to Victory Lane in the process.
Benjamin joins a stack field of Southern Super Series drivers that also includes championship leaders Bubba Pollard and Daniel Hemric. Pollard leads Hemric by 38 points but will have to decide the championship in a field that also contains John Hunter Nemechek, Mike Garvey, Ross Kenseth and Augie Grill.
Saturday night marks the last time the tour visits Mobile and one final tune-up before the season finale at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, so expect the teams to pull out all the stops to end up in Victory Lane while they still have time.
Grandstand tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, student and military. Children 6-11 get in for $5 while five-and-under get in for free when accompanied by an adult.