DiBenedetto’s Kentucky Preview

Matt DiBenedetto

No. 95 Anest Iawata Toyota Camry Notes:

·       DIBENEDETTO BY THE NUMBERS: In four Monster Energy Open career starts at Kentucky Speedway, Matt DiBenedetto has an average start of 35.2 and an average finish of 35.5 and has completed 694 of 1,075 (64.6 percent) career laps.  DiBenedetto’s best finish at the 1.5-mile track in Sparta, Kentucky is 25th in 2017.

·       ANEST IWATA, LEADING THE WAY IN PAINTING AND FINISHING EQUPIMENT:  Anest Iwata is a leading manufacturer specializing in painting equipment, turnkey coating systems, air compressors and high-end dry vacuum pumps.  The company is the leading producer of spray guns in the world and they continue to introduce and produce the most effective finishing equipment in the world.  Anest Iwata first partnered with DiBenedetto during the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season as a primary sponsor at Kentucky Speedway.

·       RACE INFO: The Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway (1.5-mile) begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 13th. The race will bebroadcast live on NBCSN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio.

DiBenedetto’s Career Monster Energy Monster Energy Open Stats:

Date                Event:                                     S          F         Laps                 Status

07/11/15          Quaker State 400                    39        42        145/267            Crash

07/09/16          Quaker State 400                    35        38        79/267              Crash

07/08/17          Quaker State 400                    30        25        270/274            Running

07/14/18          Quaker State 400                    37        37        200/267            Vibration

                        Races     Wins     Top 5s    Top 10s       Poles

Cumulative         4            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

   18               0                 1                2                    0                 50                       22.6                 22.6

DiBenedetto’s Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

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

158                0                 1                 6                   0                 73                       30.1                 28.2

From the Driver’s Seat:

Matt DiBenedetto: “The main challenge of racing at Kentucky is getting your car through Turns 3 and 4 well because that end of the track is a lot flatter than (Turns) 1 and 2.  Turns 3 and 4 are also your passing corners since 1 and 2 aren’t generally a good place to pass.  This year we’ve really had a hard time being able to follow in dirty wake from the car in front of you, so that’s been a challenging aspect when it comes to trying to gain track position. The bottom line at Kentucky is the preferred line ever since the repave a few years ago, but by NASCAR putting down the PJ1 this weekend, they’re working to be able to give us lane options to be able to pass.  The goal will be able to go into the corner and be able to run a few grooves higher where we should be able to find clean air.  I think this weekend we’ll see a lot of pit strategy possibly come into play where teams take fuel only or two tires since the tire we’re running this weekend is the same as a few other tracks from earlier this year where we didn’t see much falloff.  Since it will be difficult to pass, restarts and pit strategies will be the main ways that people will be able to gain track position, so it’ll be interesting to see what everyone chooses to do to gain an advantage.  We have Anest Iwata back aboard our No. 95 this weekend and they’ve been with me since the start of my Cup career.  It’s special to me because they’ve been a partner of mine for every year of my Cup career so far and I’m fortunate that they’ve followed me for these last several years.”

From the Pit Box:

Mike Wheeler: “Kentucky is a relatively recently paved track which is one of the different characteristics that we’ll be working with this weekend. Obviously, Chicago was just the opposite where it’s an older and worn out surface with bumps, Kentucky is more like Texas in the sense where it has two distinct corners.  Turns 1 and 2 are banked, while Turns 3 and 4 are fairly flat, so that variance provides its own unique challenge.  In regard to roughness there, it allows for fairly aggressive setups when it comes to ride heights.  The biggest thing will be seeing how much grip we have in the flatter corner, and how much off-throttle time we’ll have.  Turns 1 and 2 might be fairly wide-open through there similar to Texas in Turns 3 and 4.  Having the PJ1 added this weekend might allow for a couple different grooves to come in which would be really good for this package since it could let us get some runs on the straightaways and possible pass in the corners.  This weekend we’re running the same tire we ran at Vegas, Texas, and Michigan which we’ve seen very low falloff with, and since Kentucky is a newer repave, we anticipate we’ll see similar wears.  That will allow us some opportunities on pit road to be able to stay out, take fuel only, or do rights or lefts as needed since we think falloff will be on the lower side.  The lower falloff will let teams vary pit strategies in order to try and gain track position as well.”

No. 95 Anest Iwata Toyota 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: Dakota Ratcliff

Front Changer: Adam Hartman        Tire Carrier: Chris Hall

Hauler Driver: Damon Lopez


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