Just about everyone that was not a part of Denny Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing team was rooting for Matt DiBenedetto on Saturday night.
DiBenedetto, who found out earlier this week that he would not have a ride with Leavine Family Racing past this season, put forth one of the best races of his career in the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motorspeedway.
DiBenedetto drove his No. 95 Toyota to a second-place finish under the lights at Bristol, ultimately losing out on a win to Hamlin, who made the winning pass with 12 laps to go. DiBenedetto was slowed by contact with Ryan Newman with 40 laps to go. It would have been DiBenedetto’s first Monster Energy Cup Series win.
The 28-year-old was very emotional climbing from his car and teared up while speaking with media after the race saying “I’m not done yet.”
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And DiBenedetto took to Twitter after the race to share his gratitude.
It’s hard to not feel for DiBenedetto, whose driving certainly makes the case that he deserves a bigger ride. Nonetheless, it’s unclear where the former Joe Gibbs Racing driver will land. He has posted five top-10’s and three top-five finishes and sits 22nd in points.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images