Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Drydene 400
TRACK: Dover International Speedway
DRIVER: Matt DiBenedetto
CAR: No. 95 Dumont JETS Toyota Camry
NASCAR’s top series returned to the one-mile high-banked concrete “Monster Mile” of Dover International Speedway to begin the second round of The Playoffs this weekend. Matt DiBenedetto and his No. 95 Dumont JETS team entered the weekend hoping to improve upon their run earlier in the season at the challenging track. The team focused on race trim during both practice sessions on Friday and then went on to earn the 20th starting position for Sunday’s 400-lap event. At a track where passing is difficult, the team was able to patiently work on chipping away positions, and DiBenedetto drove off with a career-best seventh-place finish at Dover as the team earned their seventh top-10 finish of the season as well.
The Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway took the green flag at 2:50 p.m. EST as DiBenedetto and his No. 95 Dumont JETS Toyota Camry started the 400-lap event lined up in 20th. DiBenedetto improved to 17th before the first caution of the day came early at lap 8 as he told crew chief Mike Wheeler that his No. 95 Camry was a bit tight to start the race. The race returned to green with the Dumont JETS Camry in 16th, and as Stage 1 continued, DiBenedetto said “it’s a little freer now that the pressures are building up.” Green-flag pit stops began to cycle through the field around lap 75 and Wheeler called his driver in for the team’s first stop of the day on lap 78 for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment. Following the stop, DiBenedetto told his team “it’s a little tight and we may need to go back a bit on that adjustment.”
Stage 1 ended with the Dumont JETS Camry in 15th as DiBenedetto came in for service under the caution for another four-tire stop. Stage 2 began with the race returning to green to begin lap 128 with the No. 95 Camry in 13th at the time. Following the slight adjustments under the Stage break, DiBenedetto told his team on lap 152 “it’s a little tight, but that’s going in the right direction.” Another round of green-flag pit stops began cycling around lap 184 and DiBenedetto pitted for four tires, fuel, and air pressure on lap 185. Following the team’s stop, DiBenedetto ran several top-five lap times even though he still was experiencing a slight tightness in his Dumont JETS Camry.
Stage 2 ended following lap 240 with DiBenedetto scored in 13th at the time as he told his team that he needed his car “to cut a bit better.” Four tires, fuel, and air pressure changes were made on the team’s lap 244 stop, and Stage 3 took the green flag to begin lap 249 with DiBenedetto in 12th. On lap 277, DiBenedetto broke into the top-10 as he passed the No. 2 and on lap 284, he told his team “it just keeps getting better, but we just need a tick more of that adjustment.” The Dumont JETS Camry improved to ninth on lap 289 as DiBenedetto passed the No. 18, and by lap 305, he had driven into sixth. Another round of green-flag stops began at lap 318 and Wheeler called his driver down pit road for one final four-tire stop on lap 321. DiBenedetto was able to remain within the top-eight for the remainder of the event and crossed the line in seventh earning the team their seventh top-10 finish of the season.
Kyle Larson tamed “The Monster Mile” Sunday as he snapped a 75-race winless streak in the process. With the win, Larson punched his ticket into the next round of The Playoffs into the Round of 8. Martin Truex, Jr., Alex Bowman, Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin rounded out Sunday’s top-five finishers at Dover while DiBenedetto was scored in seventh with his No. 95 Dumont JETS Toyota Camry.
2019 No. 95 Season Summary:
Starts - 30
Wins - 0
Top 5's - 3
Top 10's - 7
Poles - 0
Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile)
Sunday, October 13, 2019