There are not many drivers in the garage that almost every NASCAR fan has a singular opinion on, but Matt Dibenedetto is one of them. It’s hard not to like the guy who has had to work hard for every opportunity he’s gotten, is extremely humble, and overall just seems like a genuinely good person. That’s why watching him ultimately waste these opportunities is hard to watch.
Matty D has been around NASCAR for a long time and has bounced into possibly the best ride he’s ever going to have in his career; a bonafide Team Penske car. After showing off promise at Go Fas Racing and Leavine Family Racing, it’s like all that positive momentum he had going into this opportunity with the Wood Bros. just vanished. Last season he struggled just to make the playoffs despite having solid numbers and had an early exit.
We knew going into 2020 that Matty D was going to have to show a lot of promise in order to keep in that car long term, and unfortunately, he did not earn that as Austin Cindric will replace him at the end of this season.
Back in 2019 when Matty D’s racing career was on the line after Bob Leavine announced that they were not going to bring him back in 2020; he turned that pressure into success. He didn’t fold like it seems he’s doing here early on in 2021 as he is currently 30th in the standings. Guys, the only three drivers behind him are Joey Gase, Josh Bilicki, and Quin Houff; that is beyond unacceptable for the caliber of car he’s driving.
Last week he was putting together a top ten run until he had tire issues that cost him a good finish. It was easily his best run of the year at one of his better tracks, and now we go to Pheonix where he had success last year. So, he needs to find consistency and take advantage of the tracks he’s good at and build on that momentum.
This entire season is a tryout for other teams. The one that I personally believe he could be the front runner for currently is Roush-Fenway Racing’s #6-car. I’m not sure how long Ryan Newman plans on racing, but at this moment I’d rather have Matty D then Newman.
Once again, that’s at this moment. If he continues to perform horribly in this bad equipment then that will quickly change. I’m holding faith in the Stallion and hoping for a strong run at Pheonix.