If you saw the race at Bristol Motor Speedway a few weeks ago, there is no doubt in my mind that you became a Matt DiBenedetto fan that night- if you weren't a fan of his already. Here was a guy that just found out that he is losing his ride for next year, he was in an underfunded team, and with a handful of laps to go, he was leading the race on the way to his first win. Much to the disgrace of fans everywhere, he ended up finishing second- the most heartbreaking second place finish EVER... heartbreaking to the point where race winner Denny Hamlin actually apologized for winning- but "Matty D" won over a bunch of new fans that night.
He called yesterday and I was hoping that he would announce that he has a new ride for next year. I even asked him about it! And in typical poker-face race car driver fashion, he had no announcement. But in a great-for-him-bad-for-this-interview turn of events, Matty D announced TODAY that he will take over the famed Wood Brothers 21 car for retiring Paul Menard next year. Yep... I was a day late and a dollar short on our conversation :)
Nonetheless, DiBenedetto is an incredibly likable guy who you love to root for, and I'm am sure that a TON of NASCAR fans are pumped to root for him the rest of this year, next year, and beyond. In fact, I hope to see you at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a few weeks rooting him on. Friday, September 27th is qualifying, Saturday is the Xfinity race followed by a Rock the Roval Party (free if you have a Saturday or Sunday race ticket), and Sunday the 29th is the Bank of America Roval 400 where Matt and the other drivers will take to the 2.28 miles and 17 turns of Charlotte's Roval. Adult tickets start at just $49 for the BofA Roval 400, kids 13 and under get in for just $10 with an adult ticket purchase, and kids are FREE on non-cup event days! Get your tickets here and check out our chat below.
Credit 360001Chris Graythen/Getty Images: CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 29: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Matt DiBenedetto poses for a portrait during the NASCAR Production Photo Days at Charlotte Convention Center on January 29, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.