DiBenedetto Ends Up 24th at Richmond Saturday Night
Apr 14, 2019

Box Score Info:
RACE:  NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Toyota Owners 400
TRACK:  Richmond Raceway
DRIVER:  Matt DiBenedetto
CAR:  No. 95 Toyota Certified Used Vehicle/Toyota Owners Camry
START: 20th
FINISH: 24th
LAPS:  398/400
POINTS POSITION:  142 total points for the season; currently 24th in the driver point standings



Post-Race Highlights:

  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams traveled to Richmond Raceway for some Saturday night racing under the lights in an important weekend of saluting and thanking loyal Toyota owners for the Toyota Owners 400.  Rain showers in the area washed out Friday’s final practice session, but teams were able to get qualifying in later that evening.  DiBenedetto started Saturday night’s event from 20th but fought handling challenges the entire night in his No. 95 Toyota Certified Used Vehicle/Toyota Owners Camry.  Despite his team making adjustments all night long, DiBenedetto crossed the line in 24th at the end of the night after a hard-fought night on the track. 
  • Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 took the green at 7:46 p.m. EST with DiBenedetto lined up in 20th for the start.  On the opening run of the night, DiBenedetto radioed in to crew chief Mike Wheeler that the No. 95 Toyota Certified Used Vehicle/Toyota Owners Camry was “about an eight or a nine loose” on a scale of 1-10.  By lap 36, he updated his team saying that his car “got better on the long run as more rubber got put down on the track” as the team discussed various chassis adjustments for their first pit stop.
  • The first caution of the evening came for a competition caution following lap 40 and DiBenedetto hit pit road in 26th at the time.  The No. 95 Toyota Certified Used Vehicle/Toyota Owners Camry came down pit road for four tires, fuel, as well as a track bar and wedge adjustment.  The race returned to green to begin lap 47 with 53 laps remaining in Stage 1. Following the restart, DiBenedetto told his team on lap 77 “the right-front tire feels lazy and we just started off loose” as he ran 27th at the time.
  • Stage 1 came to an end following lap 100 with DiBenedetto scored in 25th and in the lucky dog position.  As the team made a plan for adjustments on their next stop, DiBenedetto told his team that the No. 95 Camry had no lateral grip and wasn’t turning.  The team made another series of chassis adjustments on their four-tire stop, and the No. 95 Toyota Certified Used Vehicle/Toyota Owners Camry restarted in 25th to begin Stage 2.
  • A caution at lap 128 allowed DiBenedetto the chance to tell his team that the No. 95 “felt more responsive” but that it needed a series of similar adjustments.  Another four-tire stop came on lap 131, and DiBenedetto restarted in 24th.  Tightness crept into the No. 95 Toyota Camry later in Stage 2, as DiBenedetto ended the stage in 23rd.  DiBenedetto once again discussed the fact that his needed his race car to be more responsive, and the team continued to make changes in order to help alleviate those challenges for their driver. 
  • The race returned to green to begin lap 253 with DiBenedetto in 20th, but a wild restart found him dip back into 25th.  Tight-handling conditions continued to challenge the team as DiBenedetto told his team that he needed the No. 95 to “turn on exit.”  Green-flag pit stops began to cycle through the field around lap 310 and Wheeler called his driver down pit road for service on lap 318. 
  • As the race went on, DiBenedetto radioed on lap 367 “we just need more in that direction” in order to continue to get the No. 95 going in the right direction.  DiBenedetto kept fighting the handling challenges through the end of Saturday night’s 400-lap event and crossed the line in 24th with his No. 95 Toyota Certified Used Vehicle/Toyota Owners Camry.
  • Martin Truex, Jr. earned the win Saturday night at Richmond Raceway as he claimed his first victory of the season.  Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five finishers Saturday night under the lights.

2019 No. 95 Season Summary:
Starts - 9
Wins - 0
Top 5’s - 0
Top 10’s - 0
Poles - 0

Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile)
Talladega, AL
Sunday, April 28, 2019