The best-laid Pocono plans for Matt DiBenedetto and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team unraveled due to a couple of mistakes on the team’s final pit stop.
In the latter portion of the opening race of a double-header at Pocono Raceway, crew chief Jonathan Hassler and the team were working a strategy that called for DiBenedetto to make a fuel-only stop with 39 laps remaining. That should have delivered DiBenedetto a badly-needed jump in track position as the laps wound down, but the team was hit with a penalty when the gas can was drug into an adjoining pit stall.
DiBenedetto then had to serve a pass-through-pit-road penalty, but was nabbed for speeding as he served the penalty. That led to another costly pass-through.
The lost time dropped him off the lead lap, and while he was able to gain three positions in the final circuits, he ended the Pocono Organics CBD325 in 32nd place, the first driver one lap down. He dropped one spot in the Cup Series standings, to 20th.
Before the late race issues, DiBenedetto and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team were making some progress at a place where track position is hard to come by. He started 21st and moved up to 15th in the first four laps. He was running 18th at the end of the first Stage and second Stages, but a big jump in the running order eluded him.
“We started the race buried in track position, and that makes it rough at a place where track position is so hard to come by,” DiBenedetto said. “We were able to move up some with strategy, but we needed some luck and a few changes to the car.”
He said the miscue involving the fuel can on the final pit stop was due to a communications error that can be easily corrected.
“It was just a little mishap, nothing to point fingers over,” he said. “But it did ruin a shot at an OK day for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang.”
DiBenedetto’s finish on Saturday sets up a 32nd-place start for Sunday’s Explore The Pocono Mountains 350 and another challenge to overcome poor track position.
“We’ll do all we can to try to get things turned around soon,” he said.
Sunday’s 140-lap race, with Stage breaks at Laps 30 and 85, is set to get the green flag just after 3:30 p.m. with TV coverage on NBCSN.
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About Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center
Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center offers extraordinary service for routine vehicle maintenance including tire repair and replacement with a Low Tire Price Guarantee and a full menu of automotive services including oil and filter, brakes, alignments, batteries, and shocks and struts on all vehicle makes and models. Service is performed by certified technicians at more than 1,000 locations worldwide while you wait, and no appointment is necessary. For more information about Quick Lane, please visit www.quicklane.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
Wood Brothers Racing
Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 99 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 120 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, is known for inventing the modern pit stop. The team currently runs the Ford Mustang driven by Matt DiBenedetto in the famous No. 21 racer.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!