CERRO GORDO, NC (WECT) - Charlotte is the home of NASCAR, but a team from little Cerro Gordo is ready to rub paint with the big boys.
Ricky Benton Racing is headed to Alabama in hopes of qualifying for Sunday's GIECO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Timothy Peters will be behind the wheel of the No. 92 Ford Fusion and he's hoping to run his first Cup Series race.
"As a little kid, you always dream of making your Monster Energy Cup debut," said Peters. "I am 37 and that is about to happen this weekend at Talladega and the GEICO 500."
Peters is not a rookie driver. He cut his teeth on the Xfinity and Camping World truck circuits.
"I have had a lot of success with the truck in the past," said Peters. "I have won Talladega twice and Daytona once. I know I have a learning curve ahead with the car, but I am up for the challenge with these guys."
RBR also has restrictor plate racing experience. The team finished 14th at the Daytona 500 in February and hopes some of those lessons learned carry over.
"There are similarities (between Talladega and Dayton), mainly the drafting and how you prepare your cars," Crew Chief Ronnie Griffin said. "They are pretty similar."
"You have to know the situation that you are racing in, if it is getting too antsy for when the big wreck is about to happen," Peters added. "You want to make sure you stay in position to be there at the end of 500 miles."
RBR has expectations for the weekend, but realizes it will be battling teams with more money and resources.
"We want to just try to stay out of trouble, and finish the race," said Griffin. "The main goal is to get the checkered flag."
"If we finish in the top 25, we have done good. That's amazing," said RBR owner Rickey Benton. "Anything above that is outstanding. If we finish in the top 15, we have won the race and if we do take it and beat the odds, it would be exciting."
Coverage of the GEICO 500 begins at 2 p.m. Sunday on Fox Wilmington.