By Sarah Handy, Staff Writer
‘Garbage luck’, that’s what Wood Brothers Racing driver Matt DiBenedetto referred to his last couple weeks of racing as following Kansas Speedway.
DiBenedetto’s had a number of finishes that aren’t indicative of how his No. 21 Ford Mustang has been performing this season. Thursday’s Super Start Batteries 400 from Kansas Speedway proved to be another one of those events.
After starting in the 12th position for the 267-lap event due to random draw, the No. 21 Menards / Dutch Boy Ford was loose early on. However, DiBenedetto went on to finish stage one scored in 15th and stage two in the 13th position.
Then the seventh caution of the night waved on lap 176 and DiBenedetto was essentially in the wrong place at the wrong time. It all started when the No. 22 Team Penske Ford of Joey [Logano] came up on the backstretch and appeared to have a left front tire going down. A chain reaction ensued as multiple cars made contact behind the 22. In turn, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie [Johnson] and Matt [DiBenedetto] ultimately made contact that would end both of their nights.
An irritated DiBenedetto said he didn’t know what was happening and the team deserves better.
“I couldn’t tell what was going on. I just tried to go low, saw guys checked up off of two, I didn’t see it and I just got clipped in the right side. Nothing I could do different,” said DiBenedetto. “I am not going to lie. I am [pretty] frickin irritated. We have had garbage luck the last couple of weeks. The Menards Dutch Boy Ford Mustang was fast, and we deserve better. We are racing for the playoffs and this is just annoying.”
With the series racing on Thursday evening, that means the next event is on Sunday August 2 when the series heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a favorite track of DiBenedetto’s.
“I [need] an off weekend. I will watch the other guys race and go to one of my favorite tracks, New Hampshire, rebound and get a dang finish that we deserve,” said DiBenedetto.
In his eight previous NASCAR Cup Series starts at The Magic Mile, DiBenedetto has a best finish of fifth which came last season at Loudon.
Restarts are wild at Kansas and they got us. Nobody’s fault just a victim of circumstances. We had finally gotten our car tightened up enough and our day got ended. I’ll have a little trouble getting over this one but just ready to go to @NHMS
— Matt DiBenedetto (@mattdracing) July 24, 2020
This season, DiBenedetto and his Wood Brothers Racing team have two top-five and five top-10 finishes. His best finish of the season is second at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this season. Currently, he sits 13th in the points standings, 286 points behind current leader Kevin Harvick.
The Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 from New Hampshire Motor Speedway will take place on Sunday August 2 live at 3:00 PM ET on NBCSN and PRN.
Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP Photo