DiBenedetto Earns 14th-Place Finish in The Lone Star State
Nov 3, 2019

Box Score Info:
NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; AAA Texas 500
TRACK:  Texas Motor Speedway
DRIVER:  Matt DiBenedetto
CAR:  No. 95 Procore Toyota Camry
START: 10th
FINISH: 14th
LAPS:  334/334




Post-Race Highlights:

  • NASCAR's top series traveled deep into the heart of Texas for this weekend's race at the 1.5-mile track of Texas Motor Speedway.  Teams had two practice sessions on Friday to shake down cars ahead of Saturday's impound qualifying session for the series where Matt DiBenedetto earned the 10th starting position for his No. 95 Procore Camry.  Sunday's race found the No. 95 team starting from 10th and despite tight-handling conditions their Camry had exiting Turn 2, the team worked tirelessly making adjustments, and DiBenedetto was able to remain within the top-20 the entire race.  DiBenedetto earned a 14th-place finish Sunday at a track that has continued to challenge teams after its reconfiguration several years ago.   
  • Sunday's AAA Texas 500 took the green flag at 2:20 p.m. CST as DiBenedetto and his No. 95 Procore Toyota Camry rolled off from 10th.  On lap six, DiBenedetto told his crew chief Mike Wheeler “it's kind of tight right now” and then went on to further describe the fact that the No. 95 was tight on exit which made it “difficult to complete the corner.”  At lap 22, DiBenedetto told the team that due to the tightness in his Procore Camry, he was also “pinned on the bottom” of the racetrack.  A caution at lap 44 found Wheeler calling his driver down pit road for the team's first pit stop of the afternoon.  Four tires, fuel, and air pressure adjustments were made to the Procore Camry and the race returned to green to start lap 48.  Teams had opted for varying pit strategies under that caution so since the team opted to take four tires, DiBenedetto lined up in 19th at the time.
  • The Procore Camry continued to fight handling challenges off of Turn 2 so Wheeler called his driver in for another four-tire stop on lap 57 under caution as the team made both wedge and air pressure adjustments.  Stage 1 ended following a green-white-checkered restart due to a late stage caution and DiBenedetto ended the opening stage of the race in 17th.
  • Stage 2 began on lap 96 with the Procore Camry in eighth.  Despite the team working on adjustments to help loosen up the handling, DiBenedetto told his team early on in Stage 2 that his No. 95 was still “plowing off of (Turn) 2” and needed a wedge adjustment.  Green flag pit stops began to cycle through the field around lap 145 and Wheeler called his driver in on lap 146 for four tires, fuel, and more adjustments to their Procore Camry.  On Lap 155, DiBenedetto told the team “That feels a bit better, but we still need more in that direction. 
  • Stage 2 concluded following Lap 170 with DiBenedetto in 16th as he told his team that his No. 95 machine continued to be too tight off of Turn 2.  This time, Wheeler told his driver that they were going to take a big swing with adjustments, and under the caution the crew serviced the Procore Camry with four tires, fuel, air pressure and two rounds down on the right-rear wedge. 
  • Stage 3 took the green to start lap 178 with DiBenedetto in 17th at the time, and less than ten laps under green following the adjustments, DiBenedetto called in over the team's radio “the car feels better and I think we can make something happen now.”  DiBenedetto was able to remain within the top-20 as Stage 3 continued but on lap 214 he told his team that the No. 95 was still not completing Turn 2 very well and was losing grip in Turn 4.  
  • The team continued to work on adjustments throughout the remainder of the race as DiBenedetto fought tight-handling conditions off of Turn 2.  Despite the handling challenges, the Procore Camry fought hard to remain within the top-20 all race and DiBenedetto crossed the line in 14th Sunday evening. 
  • Kevin Harvick drove away with the victory Sunday night in Texas and punched his ticket into the Championship race with the finish.  Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano, and Alex Bowman rounded out the top-five finishers at Texas.


2019 No. 95 Season Summary:
Starts - 34
Wins - 0
Top 5's - 3
Top 10's - 7
Poles - 0

Bluegreen Vacations 500
ISM Raceway (1.0-mile)
Avondale, AZ
Sunday, November 10, 2019