Mattie D Looks Forward To Homestead

Matt DiBenedetto & Corey LaJoie

No. 95 Toyota Express Maintenance Toyota Camry Notes:

DIBENEDETTO BY THE NUMBERS: In four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career starts at Homestead, Matt DiBenedetto has an average start of 32.0, an average finish of 30.0, and he’s completed 1,054 of 1,069 (98.6 percent) career laps at 1.5-mile track.

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RACE INFO: The Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (1.5-mile) begins at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 17th. 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 Homestead:

Date Event: S F Laps Status

11/22/15 Ford EcoBoost 400 37 37 263/267 Running

11/20/16 Ford EcoBoost 400 31 27 264/268 Running

11/19/17 Ford EcoBoost 400 31 30 263/267 Running

11/18/18 Ford EcoBoost 400 29 26 264/267 Running

                    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

35           0            3                  7              0            152              20.5              18.3

DiBenedetto’s Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats:

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

175 0 3 11 0 175 29.0 26.8

From the Driver’s Seat:

Matt DiBenedetto: “Looking ahead to this weekend, I think that Homestead should be one of the better races with this package, similar to how I thought that Kansas was with this package. I consider it better in my mind when we’re able to move all around the track and that there isn’t necessarily a preferred lane, so it gives drivers more options when it comes to where we’re running. The good thing about Homestead as well is that the track surface is a little more worn out, which makes it more fun for the drivers as well, so you should see the lap times fall off more similar to say you would see at a place like Texas. A little bit of lap time falloff makes it fun for me and if you combine that with drivers having the opportunity to move around and change up their lanes, that makes it better as well in my opinion. There are some unknowns though as we enter this weekend since we’re not entirely sure what we’ll experience at Homestead with this rules package. Usually, the high lane is preferred, but I’m not really sure what we’ll see this weekend and I anticipate that possibly changing since we have less horsepower and so much more grip. In years past at Homestead, we were sliding around there holding on, but it certainly won’t be like that anymore. This year has been fun because the improvement we’ve experienced has been so much throughout this season that this group is disappointed in top-15’s, which is a nice problem to have. Everyone on this No. 95 team has worked so hard to improve our overall car speed this year that it’s been fun to see the progression of how good our people are to build a team up to this point in just one year.”

From the Pit Box:

Mike Wheeler: “Homestead is its own unique animal, however, it is the same tire for this coming weekend as we ran at Darlington as well as a similar track abrasion as both Darlington and Atlanta, so you will suffer some tire falloff as well as cars needing overall grip over the course of a run. The closest track to Homestead that we ran at recently was probably Kansas, but that’s still a fairly high-grip track compared to how Homestead has typically been in the past. Ultimately, no one really knows what we’re going to have for this weekend until we get down there because no one has been on track there this year. I still feel that we’ll need to have enough grip in the car to run well over the course of a long run, and enough maneuverability to run a couple of different lanes since it’s always been a top groove racetrack. The cars this year usually can’t follow each other in traffic because of the detrimental aero-balance you suffer in traffic. You’ll need to have maneuverability to be able to be able to run a lane or two down as well in order to pass guys. Homestead is a decent track where it’s provided lane options in the past, but usually over the course of the run, it ended up being the top groove along the wall was the fastest. For restarts, and even for five or ten laps, you can kind of run the middle or the bottom lane, but generally the fastest guys are usually rim-riding the top. This package is very different than what we’ve had in the past though with the low horsepower and high downforce, and you can’t follow someone’s tracks like you used to. It was hard to pass on the long run at Homestead in the past because everyone was faster up top than the in the other grooves, but this package might allow for someone to move down into clean air to be better. Some of the cars that qualify up front this weekend will not necessarily race the best. Our game plan will be to make sure that our car handles well and has good grip for a 15-20 lap run. Setting up our Camry for this weekend will be more than just three laps of speed. It’s going to be about being able to race well and to have a well-balanced and maneuverable car.”

No. 95 Toyota Express Maintenance 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: Bailey Walker Rear Changer: Deven Youker

Front Changer: Blake Houston Tire Carrier: Chris Hall

Hauler Driver: Damon Lopez Pit Support: Brian Eastland

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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