Matt DiBenedetto had a career-best night on Saturday in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Just days after he announced that he will not be returning to Leavine Family Racing next season, DiBenedetto went out and led a race-high 93 laps and scored his best finish of his career in second.
“I wanted to win so bad for these guys, for this team, for them giving me this opportunity,” DiBenedetto said. “I’m just thankful that they gave me this opportunity, Toyota, Procore, Dumont Jets. I’m so thankful.”
DiBenedetto took the lead from Erik Jones on Lap 396 and held the top spot up until 12 laps to go when Denny Hamlin got by him for the win.
“I’m sad,” DiBenedetto said. “We got tight after the deal with (Ryan) Newman when he came up into us. All of a sudden it got really tight after that.
“Congrats to Denny. He raced hard. I’ve been a fan of his since I was a kid. To be racing door to door with him at Bristol, in front of a great group of fans.”
The finish was his third career top five, all coming this season, with LFR. He’s now led 143 laps in 2019 after leading a combined 23 laps in his four previous seasons with BK and Go Fas Racing.