Atlanta’s Worn Pavement Suits DiBenedetto’s Style

Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Menards/Knauf Insulation team head into the fifth race of the 2020 Cup season ninth in the points standings and hungry for more.

In the first four races of the year, the No. 21 team has posted a best finish of second, at Las Vegas, and an average finish of 11.8. They also have earned 17 Stage points, including four for a seventh-place finish in the 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway.

Now the team heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Folds of Honor/Quik Trip 500. Atlanta’s aging track surface is a maintenance nightmare for track officials responsible for keeping it in racing condition but a dream come true for drivers like DiBenedetto.

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“I compare it to Fontana,” DiBenedetto said. “The surface is old, and that allows the cars to spread around more. It makes it more racey, more fun.”

Worn pavement also puts a premium on tire management, and that’s OK with DiBenedetto.

“It’s more my style,” he said. “It’s a fun track. Hopefully we can qualify decent, race well and stay up front the whole time.”

While it’s inevitable that Atlanta, which hasn’t been paved since a reconfiguration from a true oval to a quad-oval in 1997, will eventually have to be repaved, DiBenedetto hopes that can be put off as long as possible.

“New repaves are never fun,” he said. “It takes years to get the asphalt aged so that it races well.

“That asphalt at Atlanta gives the track character and makes for multiple lanes.

“We all love it.”

Qualifying for the Folds of Honor/Quik Trip 500 is set for 12:05 p.m. on Saturday, and the race is scheduled to start just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.

Menards

A family owned company started in 1958, Menards is headquartered in Eau Claire, WI. Menards has more than 300 retail stores located throughout the Midwest in the states of IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI and WY. Menards is known throughout the home improvement industry as the low price leader. It’s famous slogan “Save Big Money at Menards” is widely known and easy to remember. For more information, visit Menards.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

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.

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