Matt DiBenedetto and the Wood Brothers team are headed to Michigan International Speedway with a black No. 21 Mustang adorned with a paint scheme honoring Ford’s auto technicians.
The NewFordTech.com paint scheme will be used in both ends of a double-header that kicks off Saturday afternoon and concludes Sunday afternoon.
The No. 21 Mustang has been used to honor technicians in the past at Michigan, but this year’s theme carries an extra significance given the efforts the company’s technicians have put in during the ongoing pandemic.
Demand for vehicle work has remained strong in the months since COVID-19 has swept across the country, which only emphasizes the deficit of automotive technicians needed vs. how many are in the field. Those interested in starting a new career in this field can go to NewFordTech.com, where Ford will help guide visitors find a starting point that matches their needs.
High school students interested in becoming Ford or Lincoln automotive technicians have opportunities to continue their education at over 75 post-secondary training locations throughout the country, including the Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) program and Ford Accelerated Credentials Training (FACT) program.
NASCAR and its race teams also have had to adjust to pandemic times, thus the double-header at Michigan, which is part of a schedule shuffle intended to get all of the 36 scheduled Cup Series races run this season.
DiBenedetto said he’s looking forward to driving the black No. 21 NewFordTech.com Mustang in the twin 312-mile races, which will be the second time this season that the Cup Series has run back-to-back races at the same track. The first was at Pocono Raceway on June 27-28.
“I like the double-headers,” he said. “Pocono was pretty fun. You learn a lot the first day that you can apply to the second.”
It’s more fun for DiBenedetto because the No. 21 Mustang has been fast in recent weeks.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to have fast cars,” he said. “Michigan requires a different style of racing. You’re in the throttle a lot, almost wide open all the way around the track.”
One aspect that isn’t different, he said, is the importance of track position and of making the most of the opportunities presented by restarts, an area in which he and his spotter Doug Campbell have excelled this year.
“Restarts are really important,” DiBenedetto said. “If you get stuck in the wrong lane on a restart you can lose eight spots.
DiBenedetto said races at Michigan take on an added importance for him and the Wood Brothers because of the team’s decades-long association with Ford.
“It’s a really special race for us,” he said. “The Wood Brothers have always had a close relationship with Ford.”
DiBenedetto said he’s confident the weekend will be a good one for him, his team and his sponsor.
“There are lot of good things to look forward to,” he said. “I feel like we’re really hitting our stride.”
Saturday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 is set to get the green flag just after 4 p.m. Eastern Time, and Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 is set for a 4:30 p.m. start. Both races will be televised on NBCSN.
Motorcraft offers a complete line of replacement parts that are recommended by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to underhood repairs, Motorcraft parts offer value with high quality and the right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available nationwide at Ford and Lincoln Dealers, independent distributors and automotive parts retailers, and are backed by the Service Parts Limited Warranty of Ford Motor Company. For more information, visit www.motorcraft.com.
Omnicraft is part of the Ford lineup of parts brands: Ford Parts, Motorcraft and Omnicraft. Omnicraft is the exclusive non-Ford/Lincoln parts brand of premium aftermarket parts. With over a century of parts heritage to build upon, Omnicraft provides excellent quality and fit and is a preferred choice of professional automotive technicians. To find out more about Omnicraft, visit www.omnicraftautoparts.com or contact your local Ford or Lincoln Dealership.
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.