116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Typically on race day, Luke Benischeck of Durant is the crew chief for his younger brother Jake.
On Sunday, and twice last year, Jake returned the favor and ran the race team while Luke played wheelman and collected a third-straight top-five finish at the 200-lap Disney-themed enduro hosted by Hawkeye Downs.
“I enjoy watching him race, too,” Jake said. “He’s more patient and knows when to let off to survive. I don’t do very well in these.”
The brothers have maintained a healthy working relationship since they were kids, helping their father Greg fabricate things in their garage.
“I think we have a good team. I enjoy working on the stuff and helping him go fast,” Luke said. “He knows what he’s doing and he runs really good, so I put him in the stuff and let him go.”
Sunday was Luke’s turn to go fast and while he started second in the field of 68 and placed fourth, he spent the day battling some of the best drivers from Eastern Iowa.
“I knew I had to be aggressive because these guys are fast. If they go hard the whole race and get through it unscathed, they’re really fast,” Luke said. “It’s a mix between being super aggressive and knowing when to take it easy because there is a disaster about to happen in front of you.”
Having only paid $575 for the 2006 Acura TSX with a Honda K24 motor he raced Sunday, Luke believes he’s already gotten more than his money’s worth out of the car.
“It was a steal because I want the motor anyways,” said Luke, who will put the motor in a racecar for Jake to drive next year. “I get to do this since I don’t need the motor right now.”
Always a believer in safety, Luke battled dehydration throughout the race as temperatures hovered in the 90s. He was in a full race suit with helmet and gloves.
“Halfway through I felt burnt out and was feeling lightheaded,” Luke said. “Whatever lap they turned us around, came at the right time. I got a break and shut my eyes for a second. I think I just had a lack of fluids.”
Having completed 195 of the 200 laps as Brad and Dallas Chandler claimed the top two spots, respectively, Luke finished fourth behind Tom Blum of Iowa City (196 laps), who won the August enduro held at Hawkeye Downs.
“With weekly racing you start 10th and maybe pass nine cars,” said Luke, describing his favorite part of the enduro format. “Here you are passing cars all day long. You get to weave in and out of them and you’re busy the entire time.”