Column By: JESSY MILLER / RPW – STUART, VA – Matt DiBenedetto has been the talk of the town several times during this NASCAR season. First, when he got a ninth place finish during the Daytona 500, then again at Bristol Motor Speedway a few weeks ago when Leavine Family Racing announced they would no longer be working with DiBenedetto.
DiBenedetto, then worrying about finding a ride, put on an absolute performance at Bristol. He finished runner up to Denny Hamlin after proving he absolutely belonged in the sport.
This season DiBenedetto has brought home (according to Racing-Reference.com) 10 Top-5’s, three which were Top-5’s. His three Top-5’s came in Sonoma, California, Loudon, New Hampshire, and Bristol, Tennessee. DiBenedetto got two of his Top-10’s in Daytona, Florida, Indianapolis, Indiana, Watkins Glen New York and Darlington South Carolina (along with the three mentioned above).
Dibenedetto broke into the Cup Series in 2015 and he raced for BK Racing that year and in 2016. He then spent two years with Go-Fas Racing before parting ways and moving on with Leavine Family Racing for the 2018 season.
People also recognize DiBenedetto from the 2018 Brickyard 400, he went to twitter and reached out asking for help finding a sponsor. That weekend he drove a car sponsored by Darrell Waltrip, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. Fans could also get in on helping sponsor the No. 32 car, and DiBenedetto attracted the attention of Zynga Poker (a mobile app).
Today, DiBenedetto’s name is in NASCAR Nation’s mouths again. This time because not only is he going to be taking over the 21 car next season when Paul Menard retires, but also because he was hand picked by Menard himself. Now joining the Wood Brothers, DiBenedetto will find himself not only in a Ford, but also a Team Penske affiliate.
Despite this good news, the 2019 season isn’t over yet and DiBenedetto will still be fighting for wins during the Playoffs. The next cup race is this Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 7pm EST on NBCSN. Don’t miss it!