Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 – Race Advance
Race 2 of 36:
After a ten-day swing to Florida for the Can-Am Duels and Daytona 500, the Go Fas Racing team heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second race of the NASCAR regular season. Last season, DiBenedetto and the No.32 team caught the attention of most of the NASCAR garage and media when he qualified the No.32 Can-Am Ford 13th in the first round of qualifying and ended up 22nd in the second round. With much of 2017’s team returning this season, the team hopes to see similar results this weekend.
A Different Kind of 1.5 Mile Track:
While many NASCAR tracks are in the process of repaving, Atlanta Motor Speedway’s surface is 21-years-old and makes for one of the most underrated races of the season. Drivers worked with track management to ensure that the surface would not be repaved going into the 2018 season because many drivers feel that Atlanta’s uniqueness produces some of the best racing on the circuit.
“As drivers, we really love going to the worn-out tracks. Atlanta allows for us to really move around the racetrack and find multiple grooves that work with our racecar,” said DiBenedetto, driver of the No.32 Can-Am / Wholey’s Ford. “When tracks get repaved, we’re often stuck running one groove all day and it’s really hard to pass. But with the older surface, we can really run from the bottom to the top and find speed. I’m glad Atlanta listened to the drivers and teams, I think the fans will be really happy with the show we put on this weekend.”
Last Week for the No.32 Team:
Strategy from crew chief Gene Nead and driver Matt DiBenedetto put the Hurricane Heist No.32 Ford in position to contend for a top-5 and even a win at the biggest race of the season, the Daytona 500. Starting 36th, DiBenedetto played the strategy game with several other drivers and slowly moved his way through the field, missing several multi-car accidents throughout the day. The No.32 Ford ran in the top-15 for nearly 40% of the race and even within the top-5 for more than 30 laps. A late-race pit stop put the team in the top-10 for a shootout, and the Hurricane Heist Ford found itself in the top-3 coming to the white-flag at Daytona. Unfortunately, a few drivers collided ahead of DiBenedetto, collecting him in several heavy collisions that ended the day early for the team, resulting in a 27th place finish.
Although the 27th place finish was a disappointing result for fans cheering on the team eyeing its’ first ever top-5 finish, there was a lot to be proud of. The team had fought back from a crash earlier in the week in the Can-Am duels that forced the team to roll out a backup car just days before the Daytona 500. The team worked tirelessly, yet diligently, to prep the backup car, which had last raced with Bobby Labonte years ago, and put it in shape to be in contention to win the Daytona 500 just days later.
Even with the promising speed at Daytona, DiBenedetto knows that the 1.54 mile oval in Hampton, GA is a different animal.
“I know our whole team is really looking forward to getting to Atlanta. Daytona was definitely a rough result, but there were a lot of positives to take away from the weekend,” he said. “I’m really proud of how hard these guys worked to give us a piece to contend for the win in the Daytona 500. We’re a small group of about 15 people and we were out there contending with the biggest teams in the business. There’s a lot to be proud of there. But now, we’ve got to get ahold of a really tough racetrack this weekend.”
DiBenedetto on Atlanta Motor Speedway:
“Last year we were surprisingly fast there as soon as we unloaded. I really like the older surfaced racetracks because the driver has a lot more control there as opposed to some of the high grip aero-dependent racetracks. A lot of similar concepts apply here, but the driver has to work hard all race to keep up with the racetrack and find speed. If we can channel some of that speed we found last year, we’re going to be a contender for a really good finish with the Can-Am / Wholey’s No.32 Ford.
Chassis Info: Crew Chief Gene Nead will be bringing chassis GFR-931 to serve as the primary car this weekend.
Matt DiBenedetto Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Atlanta Motor Speedway:
Average Start: 28.5
Average Finish: 28.5
Best Finish: 28th (2017)
About Our Team
BRP (TSX: DOO) is a global leader in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of powersports vehicles and propulsion systems. Its portfolio includes Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft, Can-Am all-terrain and side-by-side vehicles, Can-Am Spyder roadsters, Evinrude and Rotax marine propulsion systems as well as Rotax engines for karts, motorcycles and recreational aircraft. BRP supports its line of products with a dedicated parts, accessories and clothing business. With annual sales of over CA$3.5 billion from 107 countries, the Company employs approximately 7,600 people worldwide. Ski-Doo, Lynx, Sea-Doo, Evinrude, Rotax, Can-Am, Spyder, Outlander, Renegade, Maverick, Commander, X and the BRP logo are trademarks of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Get Matt DiBenedetto Updates:
To get live updates during the race weekends follow @mattdracing on Instagram and Twitter. Make sure to give Matt a “like” on Facebook – “Matt DiBenedetto Racing”. For a detailed bio and updated in-season statistics, please visit www.mattdracing.com
About Go Fas Racing:
Go Fas Racing (GFR) currently fields Ford Fusion’s in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Matt DiBenedetto. Located in Mooresville, North Carolina, GFR has competed in the NASCAR’s premier series since 2014; fielding cars for some of NASCAR’s top drivers, including past champions. To find out more information about our team please visit www.GoFasRacing.com.