DiBenedetto, Menards/FVP Team Confident Heading Into All-Star Race Night At Bristol

If there ever was a NASCAR All-Star Race made to order for Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Menards/FVP team it’s this one.

Due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic the annual non-points-paying extravaganza has been moved from its traditional home at Charlotte Motor Speedway to Bristol Motor Speedway, one of DiBenedetto’s best tracks. And it will be run this Wednesday night, giving him and his team a chance to capitalize on their recent momentum.

His stirring run at Bristol in 2019, where he led 93 laps and eventually finished second, played a big role in his being selected by the retiring Paul Menard to replace him as driver of the iconic No. 21 Mustang fielded by the Wood Brothers.


American Muscle

“Obviously I’m pretty glad that it’s at Bristol,” DiBenedetto said. “I think it’s cool, a cool change. I’m a little biased, though. I love Bristol so much. One of my favorite tracks.”

Because DiBenedetto hasn’t won a Cup race in the past year, he’ll have to race his way into the main event by winning one of the Stages of the preliminary Open or through the fan vote.

That prospect doesn’t intimidate him at all.

“I think it’s cool,” he said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to race our way in. I know the fan vote is important, too. People have been voting, which we appreciate a lot as a team.”

The timing of the All-Star event is a plus for DiBenedetto and the Menards/FVP team.

They were fast when the Cup Series ran a points-paying race at Bristol in May before being swept up in a multi-car crash, and they’ve been on quite a roll in the past few weeks, winning Stage points and running among the leaders every week.

His third-place finish this past Sunday at Kentucky Speedway shows just what the team is capable of doing on a regular basis.

“You see how fast our cars are,” he said. “It makes it so fun driving these things. We’re really getting in a groove as a team now. I finally feel it clicking real well.”

He said his confidence has never been higher.

“What does that, though, is my team,” he said. “Driving this 21 car for the Wood Brothers, having such a good team, great people around you, firing off the race with no practice, yeah, it’s pretty good, don’t really touch it, tiny air pressure [adjustment].

“That’s amazing to have that good of people here. Having our alliance with Team Penske, support from them. All the support from Ford and Menards/FVP. That is what does it. That’s what makes my confidence so high because I’m so confident in my guys.”

The Open is set to get the green flag at 7 p.m. Wednesday night, followed by the All-Star race at 8:30. TV coverage is on FOX Sports 1.

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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