In 2008, 14 year old Benny Solis Jr. burst onto the national road racing scene by taking the AMA Red Bull Rookies Cup Championship. The following year, Benny left for Europe to compete in the 2009 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. After struggling in Europe, Benny returned home to the US to rebuild his racing career under the tutelage of former AMA pro Chuck Graves, now the owner of the AMA championship winning Graves Motorsports Yamaha team. Benny’s father Ben was actually a Willow Springs local during Chuck’s era of domination at the track.
Benny’s results improved steadily throughout his 2010 WERA campaign. By the time the series rolled into Road Atlanta for the GNF, Benny was within 2 points of Garrett Gerloff for the C Superstock Expert National Challenge Series Championship. It would be a winner-take-all showdown on Sunday for the title! Benny started the weekend strong by winning both the C Superbike and Superstock Expert WERA Sportsman National Championships on Saturday in tight battles with Gerloff.
On Sunday morning, Benny knew he had his work cut out for him. “It was between Garret Gerloff and me for the 600 Superstock Expert class. I was on pole and he was starting 2nd so I knew it would be a tough race,” said Benny, “Once the race started, I lead the first lap and was planning on following Garrett for most of the race, but down the back straight I didn’t see him behind me and figured he made a mistake, so I put my head down and I was able to lead the whole race with Garrett pushing me the whole way until the end.”
Benny took the win, and with it, the C Superstock Expert WERA National Challenge Series Championship, but there was still one more race left to run. “Garrett had the Superbike championship wrapped up so even if I won I couldn’t have taken another title. I started on the front row again and it was a battle between Garrett and me every lap. I passed him a few times, but he got me back and lead the whole race until the last lap. Going down the back straight, I drafted him and got by but then he got me going into turn 10 on the brakes. I was able to get a good drive out of 11 and make an inside pass going into 12, which allowed me to cross the finish line first!”
Benny’s perfect weekend netted him one WERA National Challenge Series Championship and 2 WERA Sportsman National Championship titles. Shoei would like to congratulate Benito on his accomplishments, and we look forward to protecting Benny in 2011!