An astute pit call by crew chief Mike Wheeler halfway through Sunday’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 got track position for Matt DiBenedetto.
To his credit, DiBenedetto drove like a man possessed to maintain his position in the running order.
DiBenedetto’s No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota didn’t show up in the top 10 in either the first or second stage of the 20th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season. But after Wheeler kept him on the track for a Lap 158 restart after the second stage break, DiBenedetto stayed in the top 10 the rest of the way, ultimately passing fellow Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. for the fifth spot.
The top five was DiBenedetto’s second of the season, adding to the fourth-place result he achieved at Sonoma Raceway in June.
“Yeah, that was awesome,” DiBenedetto said. “You always want more. It’s a great run for the team. You always want to get more, but we’re growing as a team. This just shows our strength.
“These types of tracks are kind of in our wheelhouse, and this just shows how good of people we have. It’s not just me driving the car. It’s all these guys. I’m nothing without them. Younger team that’s showing our strength, and what we’re here to do.”