DiBenedetto Prepares For The Tricky Triangle

Matt DiBenedetto

Matt DiBenedetto – No. 95 Toyota Express Maintenance Toyota Camry Preview

Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway

No. 95 Toyota Express Maintenance Camry Notes:

·       DIBENEDETTO BY THE NUMBERS: In eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career starts at Pocono, Matt DiBenedetto has an average start of 30.9, an average finish of 32.8, and he’s completed 943 of 1,262 (74.7 percent) career laps at the 2.5-mile triangle track in Long Pond, PA.

·       THE TOYOTA EXPRESS MAINTENANCE DIFFERENCE: When your Toyota needs factory-scheduled service, Toyota Express Maintenance (TXM) helps keep our guests moving with quality, speed and value.  Toyota Express Maintenance provides precision service that’s precisely timed to fit within the busy schedules of Toyota owners.  The pit crew-inspired approach helps get our guests in and out quickly, all at the right price with the quality they expect from a Toyota dealer.  Toyota Express Maintenance emphasizes quality workmanship, competitive pricing and fast service. Services performed under Toyota Express Maintenance include oil and filter change, brake inspection, tire rotation, fluid inspection/replenishment and multipoint vehicle inspection. Additional expedited services are available.

·       RACE INFO: The Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway (2.5-mile) begins at 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 2nd. The race will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

DiBenedetto’s Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Pocono:

Date                Event:                                     S          F         Laps                Status

06/07/15          Axalta 400                               41        32       158/160            Running

08/02/15          Windows 10 400                     36        29        159/160            Running

06/06/16          Axalta 400                               27        40        57/160             Crash

08/01/16          Pennsylvania 400                   34        28        138/138            Running

06/11/17          Axalta 400                               30        32        153/160            Axle

07/30/17          Overton’s 400                         29        37        1/160                Crash

06/03/18          Pocono 400                             32        37       113/160            Brakes

07/29/18          Gander Outdoors 400             18        27       164/164            Running

                        Races     Wins     Top 5s    Top 10s       Poles

Cumulative         8            0              0               0                0

DiBenedetto’s 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season Stats:

Starts         Wins        Top-5’s     Top-10’s         Poles        Laps Led            Avg. Start       Avg. Finish

   13               0                 0                 0                    0                  50                         21.7                 25.3

DiBenedetto’s Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

Starts         Wins        Top-5’s     Top-10’s         Poles        Laps Led            Avg. Start       Avg. Finish

153                0                 0                 4                    0                  73                  30.3          28.6

From the Driver’s Seat:

Matt DiBenedetto: “Pocono used to drive more like a short track and road course in my opinion and that’s how I used to approach it.  We used to bring short track style cars there because the corners are all different but Turn 3 is kind of flat and it drives like a short track corner to me.  Turn 3 is just a flatter corner of the three turns and we used to be out of the gas and downshifting there, so it felt like a blend of what you had to do on a road course and a short track.  Now it’s not going to be like that at all anymore and I think it’s going to be the complete opposite of that.  I think with this new package, Pocono will have us in the gas the whole time and it will be very similar to a speedway, which is the polar opposite of what it was before.  I’m honestly not sure what to anticipate this weekend since Pocono is always its own animal.  I’m running a slower steering box now than I used to, which is a speedway-type quality.  I think that restarts were already crazy at Pocono and we were already four and five-wide there in the past, but this year, restarts are notoriously way more wild because they’re the time when you have a chance to make up positions since it’s tough to pass once we get single-file.  I think restarts could maybe even be seven or eight-wide now at Pocono possibly.  The most important part of the racing this weekend will be restarts because you need to be aggressive, but not crashing since people will be going wild.  The straightaway will take us longer to get up to speed now with less horsepower, so I’m not sure that the frontstretch will be a place to pass like it may have been in the past.  Turn 3 is a really aero-dependent corner, and before you could get up to people’s bumpers to scoot them up the track a little bit and be able to set yourself up to pass them off the corner to then race them down the straightaway.  With things this year, you’re going to get aero-tight and I don’t think you’re going to be able to get close to anyone in that corner anymore.  We’re going to need to set-up where we pass differently now, and this weekend will be finding out where it’s best to do that.  Turn 3 will still be the main corner that we focus on because you need to make sure that your car can rotate through there and carry your momentum off that turn for your single-car speed.  If you lose any momentum now, it could take you almost a lap to recover.”

From the Pit Box:

Mike Wheeler: “Pocono, while it’s a very large track, is three distinct corners that are relatively flat compared to the tracks we have run at so far with this package.  While we’re running wide-open, or just about completely wide-open at Charlotte, Kansas, and Texas, the flatter corners will be a challenge, especially Turn 3 this weekend.  I believe that guys will be wide-open through Turn 2, and possibly through Turn 1 as well, but the question is, how wide-open on throttle will we be through Turn 3.  Turn 3 will be the most important corner this weekend because getting the run down the front straightaway for drafting will probably be the biggest passing zone of the track.  Pocono has always been a difficult place to pass in the fact that it was always aero-sensitive being a one-lane track since the repave.  How everything plays out this year with the new package, we’ll all find out together.  You might be able to get runs off of Turn 1, but again, you can’t pass through Turn 2, so you’ll have to set people up to pass off of Turn 3.  Restarts will probably be just as crazy as they have been in the past at Pocono.  We’re definitely down on horsepower compared to what we have had there in the past, so the acceleration from the green flag to Turn 1 will be different, but at the same point, there is room on the straightaway to be able to maneuver.  Pocono is big enough so that you usually don’t lose a lap pitting under green, so that plays into being able to use strategy when it comes to pit calls to be able to get off-sequence to get yourself into better positions.”

No. 95 Toyota Express Maintenance Camry Team:

Driver: Matt DiBenedetto                   Crew Chief: Mike Wheeler

Car Chief: Greg Emmer                     Spotter: Doug Campbell

Engineer: J.R. Houston                     Engineer: Etienne Cliche

Mechanic: Bill Mares                         Mechanic: Matt Kimball

Shock Specialist: Sean Studer         Mechanic: Zach Marquardt

Tire Specialist: Tony Ramirez          Jackman: Charles Thacker

Fueler: Brian Eastland                       Rear Changer: Deven Youker

Front Changer: Adam Hartman        Tire Carrier: Chris Hall

Hauler Driver: Damon Lopez


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