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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Matt DiBenedetto See More
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The journeyman driver is back with Rackley W.A.R. this season. DiBenedetto grabbed a surprising victory late last season at Talladega in addition to posting seven Top 10's last year with this team. While it had its highlights, it was still a season that fell short in a few places for DiBenedetto. He would wind up a distant 13th-place in the final driver points, and that's where he'd like to make some improvement in the upcoming campaign. We expect to see better week-to-week consistency from this driver and team as they continue to grow together. Hopefully, they can also hang onto their winning ways from last season as well.
This team offers some exciting potential. DiBenedetto may have lost his Cup Series ride at Wood Brothers Racing, but he's still energized to race and compete at any level of NASCAR. Rackley W.A.R. will tap into that energy and enthusiasm. This truck was primarily split between Timothy Peters and Josh Berry last season. The full campaign amounted to one Top-10 and five Top-15 finishes. We expect bigger things for the young team this season. DiBenedetto should be the experience and consistency they need behind the wheel to take a pretty dramatic leap in terms of performance. Veteran Chad Kendrick returns at crew chief and the outlook for Rackley W.A.R. is pretty bright.
DiBenedetto's good 2020 season earned him just one more year in the Wood Brothers Racing Ford. Youngster Austin Cindric is primed to take over this ride in 2022, so DiBenedetto is living on borrowed time this season. The veteran driver earned career-best marks with three Top-5, 11 Top-10 finishes and a 13th-place effort in the driver point standings. With performance like that it's hard to believe DiBenedetto is on the hot seat, but he is with Cindric coming the following season. We need to consider 2021 his audition to stay in the Cup Series. Many teams will be watching what the veteran driver does very closely. The motivation, will and desire to post as good, if not better numbers this season will not be an issue. DiBenedetto already races like his hair is on fire, and now he's looking to find a new team for 2022.
DiBenedetto is coming off simply an incredible and surprising campaign in 2019. He piloted the small Leavine Family Racing team's Toyota to three Top-5 and seven Top-10 finishes and managed a career-best 22nd-place in the final driver standings. It was a pretty significant jump in performance for the journeyman driver. DiBenedetto's season highlight was easily his near-brush with victory lane in the Bristol night race. He led 93 laps late in that event and looked like a sure winner before Denny Hamlin tracked him down in the closing laps. The runner-up finish was still an incredible feat at a tough short track. DiBenedetto now takes over the seat of the storied No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford. He replaces the just-retired Paul Menard at this team. DiBenedetto should push to retain similar performance at this very capable race team, and challenge the Top 20 in driver points.
DiBenedetto ended a two season relationship with Go FAS Racing and will join Leavine Family Racing for the 2019 season. The 27-year-old journeyman driver is now with his third race team in five years, and this could be his best situation yet. DiBenedetto labored to just one Top-10 finish all of last season, and his 27.0 average finish was a career best mark, but only amounted to a 29th-place finish in the final points of 2018. LFR has made great strides with Michael McDowell and Kasey Kahne the last few years and they see this young driver as the next step in their progression. Crew Chief Mike Wheeler comes in from Joe Gibbs Racing (Denny Hamlin) and will take over the leadership role for the team. The pairing of DiBenedetto and Wheeler is a promising link up. This team could move from a 30th-place team to pushing the Top-25 in 2019.
DiBenedetto wound up making the best out of his situation at Go Fas Racing last season. The 26-year-old Californian took the No. 32 Ford team to new heights and posted good finishes in this small single-car team. DiBenedetto nabbed two Top-10 finishes (Daytona & Indianapolis) and he grabbed five Top-20 finishes. It all led to a 32nd-place finish in the final driver points, and a 27.1 average finish for the 36 events. It was the best campaign of his three-season Monster Energy Cup Series career. DiBenedetto returns to this team in 2018, and crew chief Gene Nead also returns to guide the effort. If he hopes to improve in his fourth Cup season, DiBenedetto will need to reduce the DNF's. He had six of those last year, and it was a bit of a drag on his consistency.
After two full seasons of Monster Energy Cup Series racing with BK Racing, DiBenedetto comes over to Go FAS Racing for the 2017 season. The young driver will team up with veteran crew chief Gene Nead and run the full season for this single-car operation. GFR has purchased some new cars from Richard Petty Motorsports and they plan on racing more competitively this season. DiBenedetto posted his first-career Top-10 finish (Bristol) in 2016 and showed some incremental improvement over his rookie campaign. Those are good signs as he heads over from BK Racing to Go FAS Racing. This team has used multi-driver lineups since their inception five years ago, so to commit to a single driver for an entire season marks a first at GFR. It really shows what they think of DiBenedetto's capabilities and talents.
The 23-year-old Californian launched his Sprint Cup Series career with BK Racing last season. DiBenedetto made 33 of the 36 events and registered only four top-25 finishes, with most coming early in the season. While it has not been officially announced that the team and this young driver are returning in 2016, it's assumed that they will race again in the upcoming season. Gene Nead took over the crew chief duties of the team midway into last season, and he would be expected to return in that capacity. Due to the limited budget and limited resources of this small team, not much if any improvement is expected in the near future.
More Fantasy News
Third in Tyson 250
DiBenedetto finished third in the Tyson 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at North Wilkesboro Speedway Saturday afternoon.
Wins Chevy Silverado 250
DiBenedetto won the Chevy Silverado 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday afternoon.
Full-Time Truck Series
Fifth-Place at the Brickyard
DiBenedetto finished fifth in the Verizon 200 NASCAR Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course Sunday afternoon.