LINCOLN, Ala. — Matt DiBenedetto started off his NASCAR career 0-for-337 at the national series level. On Saturday at Talladega, a place where he’s nearly won Cup Series races in the past, that number shifted to 1-for-338.
DiBenedetto survived NASCAR Overtime and led at the time of a last-lap caution, edging out Bret Holmes for his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory.
“We’ve come so close so many times at this track… The wait was well worth it,” DiBenedetto said in a post-race press conference. “This was God’s perfect timing for it to work out… this one was extra sweet doing it at Talladega.”
DiBenedetto has had hardships in the past, losing his ride with Wood Brothers Racing after last season and ending a two-year tenure with the team. He stepped down into the Truck Series to drive for Rackley WAR in 2022, hungry for victories.
“I’ve had an immense amount of life change,” he said. “Going from a state of everything in my life is crumbling on a personal front a year and a half, two years ago. It caused me to really dig deep and ask life questions that I hadn’t before. I got very vulnerable and very desperate.
“I’ve had a lot to learn and a lot of maturing to do, and focusing on Him and what matters. I owe it all to the Lord and so thankful to be here.”
DiBenedetto recorded six top 10s in the first 20 races of the season, including a 10th-place finish at Daytona, the only other superspeedway race. He qualified 30th for Saturday’s Chevy Silverado 250 and remained patient early on. He finished Stage 1 in 30th and improved to just 18th by the end of Stage 2.
As Stage 3 progressed, DiBenedetto worked his way through the field, and when a caution flew with four laps to go because of an intentional Carson Hocevar spin, DiBenedetto was third.
In NASCAR Overtime, DiBenedetto ran the bottom on the final lap when Corey Heim crashed in front of him. He got a run and passed Ben Rhodes on the bottom after he was forced below the double-yellow line.
Holmes crossed the line first, but the caution was called before that. NASCAR went to the monitor to see who was in front at the time of the caution. After a long review, NASCAR declared DiBenedetto the winner.
“I was pretty sure we got it,” DiBenedetto said. “When [Ben Rhodes] came down, he sucked all the air off my door and immediately turned me sideways. I got forced and basically turned sideways down the infield… that’s why I spun out. It was ultimately from that. So, I did get forced down there but I tried to stay in the gas and keep it pointed as straight as I could.
“It just makes it all that more special doing it with a small team that committed to me… to get the win, it’s just so much more special because we are a family.”
- Ty Majeski | W
- Chandler Smith | +30
- Zane Smith | +18
- Ben Rhodes | +3
- Christian Eckes | -3
- Stewart Friesen | -3
- John Hunter Nemechek | -5
- Grant Enfinger | -29
STAGE 1: John Hunter Nemechek, Zane Smith, Carson Hocevar, Chandler Smith, Tanner Gray, Colby Howard, Ben Rhodes, Corey Heim, Tyler Ankrum, Christian Eckes
STAGE 2: Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Stewart Friesen, Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, Christian Eckes, Tyler Ankrum, Corey Heim, Zane Smith, Ty Majeski
FINAL: Matt DiBenedetto, Ben Rhodes, Bret Holmes, Ryan Preece, Christian Eckes, Hailie Deegan, Chase Purdy, Colby Howard, Parker Kligerman, Tyler Ankrum
The Camping World Truck Series travels to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Baptist Health Cancer Care 200 on Saturday, Oct. 22. The race, which is the penultimate event of the season, is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET on FS1.