Mudsummer Classic: Why Did Norm Benning Flip The Bird At Qualifying?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Something rather inspiring happened at the Eldora Speedway last night as 61-year-old Norm Benning, a massive underdog, beat the odds and qualified for the much-anticipated and inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Mudsummer Classic – the first dirt track race since 1970.

Not only did this add a feel-good moment to the exciting event, it’s what Benning did next that made feel-good transform into a laugh-out-loud moment. Benning added a touch of humor to his magnificent feat by flipping the bird at the younger Clay Greenfield, who tried to rough him up.

All was revealed when the Speed cameras zoomed in and replayed the gesture in slow motion – Benning dropped his window net and proudly waved his middle finger at Greenfield, who he’d just battled at the end of qualifying to make the 30-truck field for the Mudsummer Classic race.

Benning and Greenfield had slammed into one another while racing for the 30th and final starting position, and Benning’s truck got fairly roughed up. Clearly, he didn’t appreciate it and shared his feelings accordingly.

Looks like this old dog wouldn’t die and roll over.

Austin Dillon in the no. 39 RRS Racing Chevrolet truck eventually won the MudSummer Classic in a race that really resonated with the drivers and fans. In fact, the event lit up the social media sites and the buzz created was a definite win for NASCAR and its millions of fans.

James Harris is a NASCAR writer for RantSports.com. Follow him @gentlemanity and “Like” him Facebook or add him to your network on Google+


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  • Kevin Weiker

    I was at Eldora, and watched this whole battle. I know Norm was upset, but it was good ol’ fashioned hard racing. It’s what you should expect when you’re in the final transfer spot, because the object is to get into the race by any means necessary.