When Matt DiBenedetto told the world on Twitter that he was leaving Go Fas Racing and scheduled a media availability for Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the natural assumption was that the driver of the No. 32 Ford already had something lined up for next year.
Not so, said DiBenedetto, who is leaving his current ride at the end of the season with no specific backup plan. When Go Fas team owners Archie and Mason St. Hilaire asked DiBenedetto for a decision on 2019, it crystallized the driver’s desire to prove himself.
To do so, DiBenedetto felt he had to make it known he was available for a more competitive ride, even if that means competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series instead of Cup.
“They (team owners) came and talked to me a couple of weeks ago and said they’d like to know what direction I was taking by September 15,” DiBenedetto said. “I was already thinking about it. And, honest to God, I woke up about a week-and-a-half ago – I’d been thinking about what I wanted to do – and it just became clear to me.
“I don’t know what made me feel that way. I believe in fate and things happen for a reason. But I woke up one morning, and it became clear to me that I needed to take a bold move, and I needed to show everybody what I got.”
DiBenedetto has developed the reputation for overachieving in less than winning equipment.
“We make the most out of what we’ve got here,” he said. “And it’s been great to get the support a lot of people, but it was time to take that chance. It was clear that I needed to take a step back and put myself in a position or make myself available to have a shot like (Alex) Bowman did and getting in a car that I can win in and show that I can prove it to everybody.
“I think everybody knows that I make the most of what I get in. We all do as a team. But until they see it – and winning in winning equipment, I want to show them so they will see it first-hand.”