Matt D Prepares For Daytona

Matt DiBenedetto

No. 95 Procore Toyota Camry Notes:

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·       DIBENEDETTO BY THE NUMBERS: In eight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career starts at Daytona International Speedway, Matt DiBenedetto has an average start of 28.2 and an average finish of 22.9.  He’s completed 1,279 of 1,467 (87.2 percent) career laps on the historic high-banked track.  In February’s Daytona 500, DiBenedetto led for a race-high 49 laps in the event before getting caught up in a wreck late in the race.

·       DAYTONA DREAMING: Not only is Daytona the birthplace of NASCAR, but it’s the place where Leavine Family Racing has strung up some of the team’s best finishes over the years.  LFR has earned three top-five finishes in the organization’s career with two of those coming at Daytona. Michael McDowell finished fourth in July of 2017, Kasey Kahne finished fourth in July of 2018 after leading for 17 laps, and DiBenedetto lead for a race-high of 49 laps in February of 2019 before getting caught up in a late-race crash.  The team also has earned two top-10 runs at “The World Center of Racing” with McDowell finishing seventh in July of 2014 and then 10th in July of 2016.

·       RACE INFO: The Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway (2.5-mile) begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 6th. The race will be broadcast live on NBC, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.

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

Date                Event                                       S          F         Laps               Status

07/05/15          Coke Zero 400                        41        26        161/161           Running

02/21/16          Daytona 500                           20        40         91/200            Crash

07/02/16          Coke Zero 400                        36        33        108/161           Running

02/26/17          Daytona 500                           25         9          200/200          Running

07/01/17          Coke Zero 400                        28        13        163/163           Running

02/18/18          Daytona 500                           36        27        198/207           Crash

07/07/18          Coke Zero Sugar 400             31         7         168/1668         Running

02/17/19          Daytona 500                           9          28        190/207           Crash

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

                        Races     Wins     Top 5s    Top 10s       Poles

Cumulative         8            0             0               2                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

   17               0                 1                1                  0                  50                      22.4                 23.4

DiBenedetto’s Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

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

157                0                 1                5                    0                 73                      30.2                  28.3

From the Driver’s Seat:

Matt DiBenedetto: “Going back to Daytona this weekend, it’s going to be way different than what we experienced in February since we’ll now be running the 2019 package there.  Talladega was a much better indicator as to what to expect a little more as we head back to Daytona.  There were some things that we learned at Talladega that were surprising, I don’t want to give away all of our secrets though.  Obviously, Daytona in February for us was a strong event for us and the style of racing will be totally different from the driver’s seat going back.  It’ll be a lot tougher to just get out front and lead like we were able to do in February because positions will shuffle around much more this coming weekend.  We were all caught off guard that handling was so important as it turned out to be at Talladega because the dirty air from the huge spoilers actually affected the cars a ton and made it to where we were fighting handling issues in traffic that we didn’t expect.  As always, track position will be important and superspeedway racing is all about being smart and trying to stay out of trouble.”

From the Pit Box:

Mike Wheeler: “Our Daytona 500 notes are still useful, but with us running the new package at Daytona this coming weekend, this package is quite a bit different so we’re kind of approaching this weekend like a mix of the (Daytona) 500 and Talladega.  We have a lot more total downforce on the car than what we had at the (Daytona) 500 and obviously handling matters more now at Daytona than what it did even at Talladega earlier this year.  It’s definitely a focus of ours to get the balance right and still make our Camry drive well with good speed this weekend.  There is also a new tire for this weekend with this package added to the mix, and obviously, weather is a factor since we practice during the day but race at night.  Ultimately, we’ll have more downforce in clean air, but we’ll also have dirtier air in traffic and that’s where a lot of the handling comes into play.  The guy that’s leading has a nice advantage having clean air, but obviously he’s at a disadvantage when it comes to drag.  A lot of times we’re seeing that the leader can’t get away from the pack which you normally see at the speedways, except this package seems to clump everyone up a bit more, especially the leader.  Because of that, the runs in traffic are bigger and quicker than what they’ve been at Daytona in the past.  Our game plan for this weekend is to unload and then make some runs by our self to make sure that our travels are right and then we’ll get into a decent-sized pack to be able to learn how our balance is in traffic versus clean air.  Obviously, you don’t want to get into a wreck at any point, but we’ll definitely need to practice in order to set ourselves up for the race.”


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