Matt DiBenedetto looks to turn his luck around at New Hampshire

NASCAR NASCAR Cup Series

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.

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

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Sarah Handy
A native of Rhode Island, and not growing up in a family that followed much racing, she watched it on occasion as a youngster, but her passion for the sport truly came to light around 2002-2003. Sarah is a 2021 graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a BA in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In 2016, after starting her own blog but without much success, Sarah was approached to join Rubbings Racing as a Staff Writer. She went on to spend about three years writing for the outlet and helping manage their social media accounts. Following her time with Rubbings Racing, Sarah went on to join Kickin’ the Tires in May of 2019 with this year being her second full season with the outlet. Her favorite tracks include her home track of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway to name a few. In addition to her racing work with Kickin’ the Tires, Sarah is also the Director of Marketing for NASCAR driver Ryan Ellis. When not at the racetrack, she enjoys reading, running, soccer and hanging out with her friends.

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