Matt DiBenedetto

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Matt DiBenedetto
Matt DiBenedetto 47 2012 Road America Sargento 200.jpg
DiBenedetto at Road America in 2012
BornMatthew Guido DiBenedetto
(1991-07-27) July 27, 1991 (age 27)
Grass Valley, California
Awards2007 UARA-Stars Rookie of the Year
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
139 races run over 4 years
Car no., teamNo. 32 (Go Fas Racing)
2017 position32nd
Best finish32nd (2017)
First race2015 CampingWorld.com 500 (Phoenix)
Last race2018 Ford EcoBoost 400 (Homestead)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 4 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
68 races run over 6 years
2016 position107th
Best finish21st (2014)
First race2009 Kroger On Track for the Cure 250 (Memphis)
Last race2016 Ford EcoBoost 300 (Homestead)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 2 0
Statistics current as of November 11, 2018.

Matthew "Matt" Guido DiBenedetto (born July 27, 1991)[1] is an Italian-American professional stock car racing driver. He currently competes full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, driving the No. 32 Ford Fusion for Go Fas Racing.

Early years[edit]

DiBenedetto first showed an interest in auto racing after receiving his little league trophy around age 8. His father, Tony, who raced an Opel Manta in SCCA and IMSA in the late 1970s and early 1980s, noticed he preferred watching automobile racing on television over baseball.[2] DiBenedetto's father knew that another player on his son's little league team was competing in mini kart racing so he bought him a used kart which a young DiBenedetto drove to his first victory. He later moved up to the UARA-Stars series, racing late models.[3]

Racing career[edit]

Xfinity Series[edit]

2010 Nationwide car at Road America

DiBenedetto made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in 2009 at the Memphis Motorsports Park and drove the No. 20 Pizza Ranch Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. DiBenedetto raced part-time in the No. 20 car in 2010.

His first race of 2010 came at the night race for the Nationwide Series from Tennessee. He was solid the whole night and had a top 10 performance in 10th. His next race came at Road America. While running 11th he had an axle problem due to running over the curbs too hard, and that led to him falling many laps down. DiBenedetto ran six races for Joe Gibbs in 2010, with two top ten finishes. In 2011, he drove for Laerte Zatta in the K&N Pro Series East. After sponsorship ended, he joined The Motorsports Group midway through 2012 and ran as a start and park driver.

In 2013, DiBenedetto joined Vision Racing to drive the No. 37 car part-time in the Nationwide Series[4] and also started and parked the few races he was in. Dibenedetto later looked back at the start-and-park time as valuable for the seat time it gave him, which paid off later in his career.[5]

During the 2014 season's Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona, DiBenedetto replaced Jeffrey Earnhardt in the No. 4 JD Motorsports Chevy during the first caution due to Earnhardt suffering a fractured collarbone in a motorcycle accident during the week.[6] For the second race he joined the Motorsports Group, where he start-and-parked the No. 46 Chevrolet for 12 races and raced the rest with the No. 46. He had an 11th-place finish at Road America and a 13th at Mid-Ohio, both road courses.

In 2016, he made his return in the Xfinity Series driving the No. 10 Camry for TriStar Motorsports at Fontana, where he started 33rd and finished 40th after starting and parking. At the Fall Texas race he crashed into the outside wall in turn 4 ending in a concussion and not racing in the Cup race the following day.

Monster Energy Cup Series[edit]

DiBenedetto at the 2015 Irwin Tools Night Race

DiBenedetto moved up to the Sprint Cup Series in 2015. He was originally intended to drive the No. 83 Dustless Blasting and No. 93 Toyotas for BK Racing on a part-time basis; he split the No. 83 during the year with Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter. After Sauter drove the No. 83 in the Daytona 500, DiBenedetto failed to qualify in his first two attempts at Atlanta and Las Vegas before finally qualifying for his Sprint Cup debut at Phoenix. With Sauter eventually decided not to race at any other Cup race after the Daytona 500, DiBenedetto took over the No. 83 full-time and declared for ROTY contention.

DiBenedetto racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2015

At Martinsville Speedway during a practice session, DiBenedetto was involved in an incident with three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The incident occurred when DiBenedetto tried to merge on the track behind Carl Edwards and the gap closed ahead of him. With Stewart fast approaching down the backstretch, DiBenedetto moved up the track in turn three to let Stewart pass. "When I got to (turn) three I didn't want to hold him up, so I just pulled up high and let him go by," DiBenedetto told Foxsports.com. "I got completely out of his way, but that wasn't enough. He tried to wreck me a few times, brake-checking me and flipping me off around the whole track." After the incident, DiBenedetto called Stewart "an arrogant prick".[7]

DiBenedetto returned full-time with BK Racing in 2016, though he ran the No. 93 for the Daytona 500 since Michael Waltrip was in the No. 83 for the race.[8] At Daytona, DiBenedetto crashed with Chris Buescher on lap 92 in what Buescher called the "hardest hit of his career", though the two were not injured.[9] In the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, DiBenedetto finished a career-best sixth place,[2] his first career top ten and the first for BK Racing since Travis Kvapil's eighth-place finish at the 2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.[10] He returned to the No. 93 for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond while Dylan Lupton drove the No. 83,[11] while also driving the No. 93 at Talladega's Hellmann's 500[12] as Jeffrey Earnhardt was in the No. 83.[13] DiBenedetto missed the AAA Texas 500 after suffering a concussion during the previous day's Xfinity Series race[14] and was replaced by Earnhardt.[15] He was cleared to return at the following race in Phoenix.[16] For the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead, he drove the No. 49 to promote the video game NASCAR Heat Evolution's price change to $49.99.[17]

On December 8, 2016, DiBenedetto announced he had parted ways with BK Racing.[18] Two days later he announced that he would drive a single-car effort for Go Fas Racing in 2017.[19] Go FAS is one of the "charter" teams and as a result, DiBenedetto will make every race in the No. 32 GFR Ford Fusion.

DiBenedetto in the No. 32 at the 2017 Toyota/Save Mart 350

In the 2017 Daytona 500, his first for Go Fas, DiBenedetto finished 9th for his second career top 10. Statistically, DiBenedetto has been Go Fas Racing's best driver since co-owner Frank Stoddard founding the team in 2011, with him picking up several top twenty and top thirty finishes. DiBenedetto had a great race in the 2017 Food City 500 when he picked up a top twenty finish, his best finish since Daytona. At the Monster Energy Open leading up to the All-Star Race, DiBenedetto drove a Reddit-sponsored car; he learned of the site when driver Josh Wise was voted into the 2014 All-Star Race by the community, who nearly voted DiBenedetto into the 2016 race.[20] The community then repeated their near-feat by having another close call in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race. After the campaign, DiBenedetto remained an active member of the community, interacting with its users in the NASCAR subreddit on a regular basis.

At the 2017 Brickyard 400, DiBenedetto qualified near the back of the field. Despite this, he managed to avoid the late-race melee to pick up another top ten finish for the No. 32, finishing 8th. Soon after the race, DiBenedetto, crew chief Gene Nead, and Go Fas extended their contract to the 2018 season, allowing DiBenedetto to remain in the No. 32 for 2018.[21] However, Nead left for personal reasons in late February.[22]

Before the spring ISM race, DiBenedetto reached out on Twitter that his team has no sponsors for that race and needed a last-minute sponsor. Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Darrell Waltrip began to donate money to fund a sponsor, and the team later received Zynga Poker sponsorship.[23] Go Fas eventually launched #TeamBurrito, a program that allows fans to encourage businesses to sponsor the No. 32 car in exchange for various rewards.[24] Later that season, in July, at Daytona, DiBenedetto drove the #32 Zynga Poker Ford Fusion to another top ten finish, this time 7th, for the team's best finish.

On September 7, 2018, DiBenedetto announced that he will not be returning to Go Fas Racing in 2019. On October 10, it was announced that DiBenedetto signed a two-year contract with Leavine Family Racing to drive the No. 95 Toyota Camry starting in 2019.[25]

Personal life[edit]

DiBenedetto was born in Nevada City, California but raised in Grass Valley, California to parents Sandy and Tony DiBenedetto. He has three siblings, Austin, Katie, Kelley. Austin is a member of the United States Air Force.

In 2015, DiBenedetto married his childhood friend Taylor Carswell. They currently reside in Hickory, North Carolina.

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led. ** – All laps led.)

Monster Energy Cup Series[edit]

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 MENCC Pts
2015 BK Racing 83 Toyota DAY ATL
DNQ
LVS
DNQ
PHO
35
CAL
42
MAR
31
TEX
34
BRI
21
RCH
37
TAL
18
KAN
25
CLT
34
DOV
32
POC
32
MCH
39
SON
29
DAY
26
KEN
42
NHA
35
IND
32
POC
29
GLN
26
MCH
30
BRI
33
DAR
25
RCH
36
CHI
39
NHA
30
DOV
34
CLT
29
KAN
30
TAL
40
MAR
30
TEX
35
PHO
28
HOM
37
35th 399
2016 93 DAY
40
RCH
37
TAL
27
MAR
32
35th 386
83 ATL
29
LVS
31
PHO
20
CAL
27
MAR
29
TEX
34
BRI
6
RCH
30
TAL
36
KAN
30
DOV
40
CLT
32
POC
40
MCH
34
SON
31
DAY
33
KEN
38
NHA
31
IND
40
POC
28
GLN
34
BRI
17
MCH
32
DAR
26
CHI
30
NHA
28
DOV
27
CLT
25
KAN
24
TEX
INQ
PHO
25
49 HOM
27
2017 Go Fas Racing 32 Ford DAY
9
ATL
28
LVS
26
PHO
29
CAL
29
MAR
35
TEX
31
BRI
19
RCH
28
TAL
18
KAN
32
CLT
37
DOV
29
POC
32
MCH
28
SON
23
DAY
13
KEN
25
NHA
30
IND
8
POC
37
GLN
28
MCH
26
BRI
26
DAR
27
RCH
31
CHI
31
NHA
31
DOV
31
CLT
23
TAL
31
KAN
22
MAR
39
TEX
25
PHO
27
HOM
30
32nd 363
2018 DAY
27
ATL
31
LVS
22
PHO
25
CAL
31
MAR
32
TEX
16
BRI
21
RCH
16
TAL
19
DOV
29
KAN
22
CLT
37
POC
37
MCH
36
SON
17
CHI
29
DAY
7
KEN
37
NHA
28
POC
27
GLN
33
MCH
24
BRI
22
DAR
38
IND
36
LVS
24
RCH
34
CLT
13
DOV
27
TAL
30
KAN
23
MAR
36
TEX
38
PHO
21
HOM
-* -*
– Replaced by Jeffrey Earnhardt
Daytona 500[edit]
Year Team Manufacturer Start Finish
2016 BK Racing Toyota 20 40
2017 Go Fas Racing Ford 25 9
2018 36 27

Xfinity Series[edit]

NASCAR Xfinity Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 NXSC Pts
2009 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 Toyota DAY CAL LVS BRI TEX NSH PHO TAL RCH DAR CLT DOV NSH KEN MLW NHA DAY CHI GTY IRP IOW GLN MCH BRI CGV ATL RCH DOV KAN CAL CLT MEM
14
TEX PHO HOM 124th 121
2010 DAY CAL LVS BRI NSH PHO TEX TAL RCH DAR DOV CLT NSH
10
KEN ROA
29
NHA DAY CHI GTY
29
IRP
31
IOW
9
GLN MCH BRI CGV ATL RCH DOV KAN CAL CLT GTY
24
TEX PHO HOM 64th 585
2012 The Motorsports Group 46 Chevy DAY PHO LVS BRI CAL TEX RCH TAL DAR IOW CLT DOV
42
GLN
41
79th 21
47 MCH
41
ROA
41
KEN DAY NHA CHI IND IOW
41
CGV
40
BRI ATL RCH CHI KEN
41
DOV CLT KAN TEX PHO HOM
2013 Vision Racing 37 Dodge DAY PHO LVS BRI CAL TEX RCH TAL DAR CLT
DNQ
DOV
39
IOW MCH ROA KEN DAY NHA CHI
39
IND
DNQ
IOW GLN MOH BRI
37
ATL
33
RCH
37
CHI 67th 31
The Motorsports Group 46 Chevy KEN
36
DOV KAN CLT TEX PHO HOM
2014 Vision Racing 37 Dodge DAY
DNQ
21st 369
The Motorsports Group 46 Chevy PHO
38
LVS
38
BRI
39
CAL
37
TEX
39
DAR
38
RCH
37
TAL
39
DOV
39
MCH
DNQ
KEN
40
DAY
DNQ
NHA
40
IND
39
40 IOW
25
CLT ROA
11
CHI
34
IOW
30
GLN
32
MOH
13
BRI
19
ATL
26
RCH
26
CHI
27
KEN
26
DOV
30
KAN
16
CLT
36
TEX
31
PHO
24
HOM
38
2016 TriStar Motorsports 10 Toyota DAY ATL LVS PHO CAL
40
BRI
40
RCH TAL DOV
38
CLT
40
POC
40
MCH
40
IOW DAY KEN
40
NHA
40
IND
38
IOW GLN MOH BRI
40
ROA DAR
40
RCH
40
CHI
40
KEN DOV
40
CLT
DNQ
PHO
40
HOM
40
107th 01
MBM Motorsports 13 Toyota TEX
32
TriStar Motorsports 14 Toyota KAN
11
TEX
36

K&N Pro Series East[edit]

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 NKNPSEC Pts Ref
2009 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 Toyota GRE
10
TRI
1*
IOW SBO GLN
5
NHA
1*
TMP
3
ADI LRP
16
NHA DOV
11
14th 1099 [26]
2011 X Team Racing 15 Toyota GRE
5
SBO
2
RCH
10
IOW
13
BGS
1**
GRE
2
LGY
4
NHA
27
COL
4
GRE
10
NHA
4
DOV
22
4th 1741 [27]
2012 Hattori Racing Enterprises 01 Toyota BRI GRE RCH IOW BGS GRE LGY CNB COL IOW
20
NHA DOV GRE CAR 72nd 24 [28]

ARCA Racing Series[edit]

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

ARCA Racing Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 ARSC Pts
2011 Dave McClure 14 Toyota DAY TAL SLM TOL NJE CHI POC MCH WIN BLN IOW IRP POC ISF MAD DSF SLM
6
KAN TOL
12
62nd 370

* Season still in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matt DiBenedetto Career Statistics
  2. ^ a b Gluck, Jeff (April 17, 2016). "Gluck: Matt DiBenedetto writes fairy tale with sixth place at Bristol". USA Today. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  3. ^ "NASCAR podcast: Matt 'Guido' DiBenedetto". Racer. 2018-05-03. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  4. ^ Wolkin, Joseph (April 21, 2013). "Matt Dibenedetto to Return to NASCAR Nationwide Series with Vision Racing". Rant Sports. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  5. ^ Ryan, Nate (2018-04-26). "Ep. 135: Matt DiBenedetto". ART19. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  6. ^ Eddinger, Mark (July 4, 2014). "Dakoda Armstrong Wins Pole as Downpour Causes 7-Car Crash in Round 1 of Nationwide Qualifying at Daytona". Sports Media 101. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
  7. ^ Spencer, Lee (March 27, 2015). "Dibenedetto: Stewart has anger issues". Motorsport. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  8. ^ Pockrass, Bob (February 5, 2016). "Michael Waltrip to race in Daytona 500 for BK Racing". ESPN. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  9. ^ Olson, Jeff (February 21, 2016). "Chris Buescher, Matt DiBenedetto endure hard collision at Daytona 500". USA Today. Retrieved April 17, 2016.
  10. ^ Menzer, Joe (April 17, 2016). "Career-best finish leaves Matt DiBenedetto emotional after Bristol". Foxsports.com. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  11. ^ "E.J. Wade Construction Returns to Sponsor Matt DiBenedetto, Dylan Lupton at Richmond". BK Racing. September 1, 2016. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  12. ^ "Talladega Entry List". Jayski's Silly Season Site. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "JEFFREY EARNHARDT TO DRIVE FOR BK RACING AT TALLADEGA". NASCAR. October 17, 2016. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  14. ^ Pockrass, Bob (November 5, 2016). "Matt DiBenedetto in concussion protocol, out of Sunday's race". ESPN. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  15. ^ "Matt DiBenedetto out with concussion; Jeffrey Earnhardt called in as replacement". Sporting News. November 6, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  16. ^ "DIBENEDETTO SAYS HE IS 'CLEARED TO RACE THIS WEEKEND'". NASCAR. November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  17. ^ "$49.99 NASCAR Heat Evolution Joins BK Racing, Matt DiBenedetto for Homestead" (Press release). BK Racing. November 11, 2016. Archived from the original on November 11, 2016. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  18. ^ McFadin, Daniel (December 8, 2016). "Matt DiBenedetto not returning to BK Racing in 2017". NBC Sports. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  19. ^ Staff report (December 15, 2016). "DiBenedetto Joins Go FAS Racing for 2017 Season". NASCAR.com. Turner Sports Network. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  20. ^ "DIBENEDETTO, GO FAS RACING TO REP REDDIT AT ALL-STAR WEEKEND". NASCAR. May 8, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  21. ^ "Matt DiBenedetto returning to Go Fas Racing for 2018 season". NASCAR. August 12, 2017. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  22. ^ "GoFas Racing announce new crew chief, Randy Cox for the 32 team". NBC Sports. February 27, 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  23. ^ Errington, Tom (March 8, 2018). "DiBenedetto gains sponsorship for Phoenix race weekend". Motorsport.com. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  24. ^ Nguyen, Justin (March 23, 2018). "Matt DiBenedetto and Go Fas thinking outside the box with sponsorship". The Checkered Flag. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  25. ^ "Leavine Family Racing hires DiBenedetto to drive the No. 95 Toyota". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN. October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  26. ^ "Matt DiBenedetto – 2009 NASCAR Camping World East Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "Matt DiBenedetto – 2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  28. ^ "Matt DiBenedetto – 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved March 1, 2018.

External links[edit]