Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Food City 500
TRACK: Bristol Motor Speedway
DRIVER: Matt DiBenedetto
CAR: No. 95 LFR eNASCAR Heat Pro League Toyota Camry
POINTS POSITION: 129 total points for the season; currently 24th in the driver point standings
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams traveled to the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” for the season’s second race at a half-mile track on the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway. Matt DiBenedetto and his No.95 team brought a special paint scheme to “the last great Colosseum” which featured their two drivers who will compete in the inaugural eNASCAR Heat Pro Series League. After starting the race from 21st, DiBenedetto was able to drive his way into the top-10 several times, and ultimately finished 12th due to a late-race caution that found teams trying to take varying pit strategies in the closing laps. The 12th-place finish is the team’s best finish of the 2019 season and their first top-15 of the year.
Sunday’s Food City 500 took the green flag just after 2:00 p.m. EST as DiBenedetto and his No. 95 LFR eNASCAR Heat Pro League Camry started from 21st. On the second lap of the race, contact between several cars at the front of the field brought out the caution. DiBenedetto improved to 17th due to the damaged vehicles, and the race returned to green on lap 8. Over the next run, the No. 95 was stuck on the high line which hadn’t come in yet as the bottom lane was the preferred one at the start, and DiBenedetto fell back to 22nd.
The team’s first stop of the day came under caution on lap 41 as crew chief Mike Wheeler made the call for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment. Following the adjustments, DiBenedetto broke into the top-15 on lap 105 as he told his team that the No. 95 Camry was “starting to pick up a push on exit” and was a “little tight off and free in.” A caution on lap 118 allowed the team to make another four-tire stop before the end of Stage 1 following lap 125.
DiBenedetto ended the opening stage of the race in 14th. Wheeler said that they would stay out under the yellow, and when the race returned to green to start lap 136, the No. 95 LFR eNASCAR Pro Heat League Camry was lined up in 10th. Over the next green-flag run, DiBenedetto held on to his top-10 positioning as he told his team that the No. 95 machine was a little too tight on throttle. The team continued to make adjustments to their race car, and Stage 2 came to an end following lap 250 with DiBenedetto scored in 11th.
Stage 3 began with DiBenedetto in 10th as the slight tightness on throttle continued, but the No. 95 held on to its positioning within the top-12. A caution at lap 432 found the LFR eNASCAR Heat Pro League Camry break into the top-10 once more as DiBenedetto lined up in 8th for the restart on lap 440. DiBenedetto continued to battle for position as he took over sixth on lap 441.
A late-race caution found teams opting for varying strategies with 20 laps to go in the race. DiBenedetto hit pit road for four tires and fuel in order to have an entire round of fresh tires for the final run. The race returned to green to begin lap 487 with the No. 95 Camry in 13th. In the end, DiBenedetto crossed the line in 12th Sunday at Bristol as the No. 95 team earned their first top-15 finish of the season.
Kyle Busch drove to the win Sunday afternoon at Bristol as he claimed his third win of the season in the series. Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five finishers.
2019 No. 95 Season Summary:
Starts - 8
Wins - 0
Top 5's - 0
Top 10's - 0
Poles - 0
Toyota Owners 400
Richmond Raceway (0.75-mile)
Sunday, April 13, 2019