Box Score Info:
RACE: NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series; Bank of America ROVAL 400
TRACK: Charlotte Motor Speedway
DRIVER: Matt DiBenedetto
CAR: No. 95 Toyota Express Maintenance Toyota Camry
- After debuting in 2018, Charlotte Motor Speedway's ROVAL road course returned to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season for 2019 but this year, the event served as an elimination race for The Playoffs. With no room for error on a tricky 17-turn 2.28-mile course, Matt DiBenedetto and his No. 95 team knew that staying out of trouble and running a clean race were going to be the keys to success on Sunday. DiBenedetto and his team showed good long-run speed in their No. 95 Toyota Express Maintenance Camry during the weekend's practice sessions and the team earned the 18th starting position. After numerous incidents throughout the race, DiBenedetto was able to stay out of harm's way and left the series final road course event of the season with an 11th-place finish.
- Sunday's 109-lap ROVAL event took the green flag at 2:41 p.m. EST as DiBenedetto started from 18th in his Toyota Express Maintenance Camry. The opening stage of the race was 25 laps and DiBenedetto quietly focused for the opening run before keying up on the team's radio on lap 14 saying “the car's alright, but tire fall-off is a little more than I expected.” Shortly after the feedback, the first caution of the day came at lap 20 and it allowed DiBenedetto to tell his crew chief Mike Wheeler “it loses some forward drive on the long run because of the tire fall-off.” Wheeler called his driver down pit road for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment to the No. 95 machine. DiBenedetto got pinned in his stall during the stop by the No. 66 and the delay forced him to line up in 26th for the restart to begin lap 23.
- Despite being frustrated being stuck back further in the pack, the positioning benefitted the team when a multi-car collision happened on the restart. DiBenedetto was able to escape unharmed since he was further back in the pack. Stage 1 ended under the extended caution and when the race returned to green to begin Stage 2, DiBenedetto lined up in 15th. Over the opening run of Stage 2, the No. 95 improved to 11th by lap 36 before another caution came at lap 42 that allowed the team to make another four-tire stop.
- Stage 2 ended following lap 50 as DiBenedetto told his team that he needed his No. 95 Camry to “point a little better.” Stage 3 began on lap 55 with the race returned to green with DiBenedetto in 14th at the time. The final stage of the race started off with a string of cautions, but once again, DiBenedetto was able to stay in the clear. Despite being in 13th, DiBenedetto was running top-five lap times before green-flag pit stops began to cycle. Wheeler called his driver in for service on lap 74 for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment, and just three laps later, the No. 95 posted the fastest lap time of the field on lap 77. As green-flag stops continued to cycle, DiBenedetto worked his way up to 12th by lap 83 before another caution came at lap 89. This time Wheeler told his driver to save fuel in order to stretch their mileage until the end of the race.
- The race returned to green to begin lap 92 with the Toyota Express Maintenance Camry in 10th but another string of cautions erupted to begin the final 15 laps of the race. A multi-car incident in Turn 8 on lap 99 even brought out the red flag for just over eight minutes in order to clean-up fluid on the track. The race returned to green to begin lap 104 with just six laps remaining in the event.
- Chase Elliott drove to the ROVAL victory Sunday at Charlotte while Alex Bowman, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five finishers. DiBenedetto earned an 11th-place finish with his No. 95 Toyota Express Maintenance Camry just narrowly missing a top-10 finish in the closing laps.
2019 No. 95 Season Summary:
Starts - 29
Wins - 0
Top 5's - 3
Top 10's - 6
Poles - 0
Dover International Speedway (1.0-mile)
Sunday, October 6, 2019