Matt DiBenedetto equaled his best finish in the NASCAR Cup Series when he came home second in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The finish, which was his first top 10 in 53 career starts at a 1.5-mile track, came in his second race driving the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford. His previous second-place finish occurred in last year’s Bristol Night Race with Leavine Family Racing.
"It took so many people and it’s so cool to be driving for the Wood Brothers," said DiBenedetto, who now has four top fives in 178 career starts. "It took so many people to get me this thing and we’re close – the second race of the season and we’re already starting off with a second-place finish."
DiBenedetto was one of seven drivers, including race winner Joey Logano, that stayed out on old tires during pit stops under caution on Lap 263. DiBenedetto was third on the final restart and when the race went green for the final time he and William Byron made contact.
"We were close," DiBenedetto said. "I made a real aggressive move there. Greg Erwin, my crew chief, made great calls and that’s what it took to get us up there and inch up there all day."
Through-out the race, DiBenedetto posted a 14.2 average running position after starting 19th when weather cancelled qualifying.
"It wasn’t a picture-perfect day," DiBenedetto said. "We had to make huge adjustments and our communication was great from me screaming really loose and us being off to start and then dialing it in little by little every pit stop, and then getting it there at the end where I was comfortable staying out because I knew the car had great speed. It was best on the long runs and we just needed a little track position because we were a little stuck in the dirty air."