After the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Menards/Richmond team are ready for a fresh start back at Charlotte in Wednesday night’s 500-kilometer race.
“I feel good going into Wednesday,” DiBenedetto said. “We’re starting fourth, and racing the primary car, so that’s good.”
The line-up for Wednesday’s race was set by inverting the finish of the Coca-Cola 600, where DiBenedetto finished 17th. The top 20 finishing positions from Sunday were inverted, and the remainder of the field will start Wednesday’s race from where they finished the 600.
On Sunday at Charlotte, DiBenedetto bounced off the wall in qualifying and had to race a back-up Ford Mustang in the 600. “It was a messy race,” he said. “The car was way looser than expected in qualifying. We took the back-up and had to work on it a lot, but we fought from really struggling to an easy top-10 car.”
He said he expects Wednesday to go much smoother for him and the Menards/Richmond team. “The car has plenty of speed, so I feel much better about the race,” he said.
DiBenedetto said racing again after just two off days, and running four races in 11 days, has caused him to modify his weekly routine.
“I’m backing off my training a good bit,” he said, explaining that he’s giving his body time to recover between races. “Racing puts a lot of strain on you, but I’m still working out three or four days a week.”
There will be no practice or qualifying for the 312-mile Alsco 500k, and the green flag is set to fly just after 8 p.m. on Wednesday with TV coverage on Fox Sport One.