Matt DiBenedetto Adds Some Bullet Points to His Resume

ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN - JULY 04: Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the #21 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Jockey Made in America 250 Presented by Kwik Trip at Road America on July 04, 2021 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Matt DiBenedetto needs to shine; he knows that. The journeyman driver faces an uncertain future, but one that is becoming a bit clearer. When the season started the driver of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford had already been told this season would be his last with the team.

The Wood Brothers have an alliance with Team Penske and with Austin Cindric, a part of Team Penske’s feeder system, needing a seat for next year, the No. 21 was tagged. That left DiBenedetto out in the cold.

But, recently rumors have surfaced, and gained momentum, that Brad Keselowski who currently drives the No. 2 Ford for Penske will be leaving to become part owner at Roush-Fenway Racing.  That would mean that Cindric would be the prime candidate for the No. 2 and give DiBenedetto a reprieve, at least for a while.

Nothing official has been announced however, meaning for the time being each week is a chance for DiBenedetto to show what he’s capable of; put some bullets on his resume.

He did just that Sunday at Road America. DiBenedetto started seventh and ran near the front most of the day leading the third most laps on the day, 10.

“I thought the adjustments we made and everything we did to get the car ready to qualify were great and the race, it was pretty clear we were a short-run car,” he said. “That was very evident. But we made the most of it all day.

“We have been working hard to get our road course cars better and it was nice to get a glimpse of some hope and speed and to lead laps. I know we have to work on our long run speed a little bit. That was cool.”

DiBenedetto finished the day 10th and feels like the team is turning the corner.

“Yeah, 100%,” he said. “I am a big proponent in the feel and morale of a race team. I have been on teams where it clicks, and I have been on teams where we needed a shakeup. All these guys, the morale I feel it. It has clicked. Our communication through practice and race is there. It is the best that we have had here on the 21 team. I feel really good about finishing out the year.”

With a still uncertain future DiBenedetto can only move forward hoping to put more bullet points on his resume and perhaps top it off with a win.