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MENCS: DiBenedetto Walks Out of Richmond With 16th Place Finish

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It was another strong showing in Saturday evening’s Toyota Owners 400 from Richmond Raceway for Matt DiBenedetto and his No. 32 Superior Logistics Ford Fusion team.

DiBenedetto qualified 27th and fought all night long to be able to have a solid finish. He spent a majority of the first half of the race running top-25 to top-30 but it wouldn’t remain that way towards the end.

The No. 32 Ford Fusion had very good long run speed and came alive during the long runs which we saw many of last night. DiBenedetto fought a tight race car but was able to put himself in position to gain lost laps back and at times was faster than some of the bigger teams.

With just over 100 laps remaining, DiBenedetto’s car seemed to run better when he ran the middle in turns three and four.

The team had solid pit stops for tires and fuel and with a little over 50 laps to go, and while DiBenedetto would’ve been good to go until the end the team decided to pit since tires are very important at a short track like Richmond.

That strategy played out as there were two cautions towards the end of the race and the No. 32 was able to take the wave around with all leaders pitting.

DiBenedetto ended his night crossing the finish line in the 16th position. His finish at Richmond marks his third solid finish. With finishes of 16th at Texas, and a 21st last week at another short track in Bristol Motor Speedway the team is carrying a ton of momentum.

On managing the restarts at the end: “I basically forced my way three-wide around the outside. I knew guys would probably jam up on the inside a good bit, so I just forced my way around the outside and we were able to roll a little momentum and keep our momentum up and keep position without getting shuffled back at all, DiBenedetto said.”

For a small team in NASCAR’s premier series a 16th place finish last night is a big deal. To have three solid finishes in a row is also very impressive.

“A 16th for us at Go Fas Racing is a heck of a run. We outran some really, really good cars all day. Our car had crazy-good long run speed and of all days for us to have really good long run speed today was definitely the day. But even at the end when we had the green-white-checker we were able to pass a couple of good cars and pick up a spot or two. The team did a really good job. You know how great of a run that is for us, DiBenedetto said.”

This team continues to build and improve each week they hit the race track. In their second full-time season together Go Fas Racing and DiBenedetto have kept on improving and finding more speed every race.

DiBenedetto posted video about his evening on his Twitter account shortly after the race. Here is what he had to say:

For a team with only 15 employees to beat out the bigger teams that have much larger budgets is a win.

Next Sunday the MENCS heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500, a track where any team big or small can pull off a victory.

While DiBenedetto hasn’t had the best luck in his two starts at Talladega with Go Fas Racing they’ll look to carrying their momentum and turn their plate luck around.

In the Spring race at Talladega last year, DiBenedetto was able to walk away with an 18th place finish, a much better result than the fall race which yielded a 31st place finish after parking their race car.

As anyone who follows NASCAR goes, anything can happen during a plate-race.
Sunday could be a day that DiBenedetto earns not only his first Cup win but Go Fas Racing’s first as well.

With the momentum this team is carrying on their backs after the last three events I’d certainly keep an eye on them.

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About Sarah Handy

Sarah Handy is a NASCAR writer. You can find her on Twitter at @SarahHandy85. A college student studying Communications/Public Relations Field and an Electronics Associate at Walmart. Sarah enjoys tweeting about racing, running, reading, puzzles, video games, and photography. Born and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah avidly follows all major New England Teams (Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins & Celtics) as well as a huge fan of what she considers her “home track” New Hampshire Motor Speedway which she attends each year.

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