• Tag Archives Team O
  • Team “O” Takes on Top Competition By JM Hallas


    San Antonio, TX.,(Sept 25th, 2015) Looking for a semi-local driver to cheer on in the IHRA Pro classes this weekend? Let me introduce Scott Benham(Magnolia), or ‘Sweet’ to his Jersey friends, who dives into the IHRA Pro Stock world with both feet. Making only his second attempt, Benham realizes he’s up against some stiff competition.

    “We plan on surprising them,” said Benham. “I’ve raced most of my life underfunded and on a budget. That hasn’t stopped us from winning in the past. We do realize this is a new level of competition and I have the utmost respect for them all.”

    “We have several goals. First is qualifying. You can’t win if you’re not in.”

    The 50-year old, second generation driver does come into the Pro Stock with some impressive credentials. Since beginning his racing at age 18, Benham has competed in Super Street, Super Stock, Modified Eliminator and Competition Eliminator before moving to Pro Stock.

    His trophy case includes three Competition Eliminator championships, in two divisions and a Division 4, 25K to win bonus race, plus winning the only two races in IHRA Modified Eliminator he’s ever entered, one here in San Antonio. He lists Texas Motorplex(Ennis) as his favorite track after winning two races in the same weekend, plus a national event.

    Benham, who owns Race Engine Development in Conroe, also comes from a good racing background with his father, Crawford Benham, a former US Nationals Champion in Modified Eliminator. His son, Chris, continues the family racing tradition taking two different Outlaw 330 Jr. Dragster series championships, the same year, in two divisions.

    Previous to beginning his own Pro Stock career, Benham helped defending IHRA Pro Stock Champ, Cary Goforth, who he now races against to two titles, as well as Mark Martino on the NHRA Pro Stock side.

    “I’m new as an IHRA Pro Stock driver, but come in with a lot of experience.” Benham continued. “We build our own motors and tune our own cars. We’re kind of old school like Bob Glidden and Rickie Smith. I’ve raced with Rodger Brogden, Richard Freeman and Chris McGaha in Competition Eliminator. It’s good to see them them having some success at the level they’re competing at.”

    “Long time friend Richard Otwell funds the car, without him we couldn’t do this, that’s where ‘Team O’ comes from. We’ve always had the tradition of not putting a drivers name above the door, just ‘Team O.’ We believe that it’s a team effort and the driver is just one part of it. The team is 100% volunteers, all have day jobs and a strong passion for racing.”

    Team O
    Car Owner/Sponsor; Richard Otwell
    Crew; Jeff Owen, Tim Ortiz, Chris Vang, Rick McConathy, Chris Benham


  • Team “O” Motorsports plans to attend first PDRA event

    In true team spirit, Richard Otwell committed a Team “O” Pro Stock entry to the upcoming PDRA “under the lights” race in Tulsa next weekend, knowing his work schedule may not allow him to attend. In addition, engine builder and crew chief Scott Benham would be chasing the comp eliminator championship in Maryland the same weekend, he stated “I’m confident that our crew can handle the challenge.”

    To add to the pressure, only one of the mountain motor HEMI’s in the shop is currently complete, but it is installed in Richards automatic outlaw GXP. Scott Benham has another shortblock assembled but heads and valve train are out for some custom work and not scheduled to make it back until the same day as the team transporter needs to depart for Tulsa. Given time is not on their side, the backup engine will get the call and be transplanted to a clutch car.

    Rick Cowger has run his car out of the Team “O” shop for years but it currently sits in search of marketing partners. Once it was confirmed that Otwell could not attend it was an easy decision to give Rick the entry. It’s only natural that a driver feels most comfortable in a familiar car, so the plan is to put Team “O” Race Engine Development power under the hood of the Cowger cobalt and shake out the cobwebs Thursday before qualifying starts the following day. Tuning will be a collective effort by crew members Kevin Cowger and Jeff Owen, with Scott getting data remotely via emails while racing in Maryland.