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Benning barrels way into Eldora race -- again

July 23, 2014, Zack Albert, NASCAR.com

Benning barrels way into Eldora race -- again
Folk hero: 'I wasn't going to go home. It's that simple'

ROSSBURG, Ohio -- Norm Benning was barely out of his truck when he heard a voice call out, "Hey, rock star!" Soon after, Benning was suddenly in a big bear hug courtesy of Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart.

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Benning, in a near-repeat of last year's determined drive into the 1-800-CarCash Mudsummer Classic lineup, made it into the field of 30 trucks for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series main event Wednesday night with another stellar finish in the last-chance qualifying race.

"Again, I wasn't going to go home. It's that simple," Benning said. "I did what I had to do. ... We're in. Now we've got to make some adjustments and go faster."

Benning finished fourth in this year's last-chance race, clinching his berth in the feature with a one-spot cushion since five trucks transferred in. Still, he had to survive a handful of restarts and plenty of two- and three-abreast contact to drive his way into the starting lineup.

He did it with another strong cheering section of his peers -- Stewart included.

"I thought I was going to climb the wall there at one point," Benning said. "Like I told you, we were going to make it happen. Both sides of the truck are worn out, but we're in the show."

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