Matt DiBenedetto competes in his seventh NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) season in 2021 and his second year driving the iconic No. 21 Ford Mustang for the longest-running NCS team, Wood Brothers Racing. Since 2015, Wood Brothers Racing has enjoyed a technical alliance with Team Penske and the partnership continues this season as DiBenedetto looks to guide the No. 21 Ford to Victory Lane and earn the 100th Cup Series win for the Wood Brothers.
In his first year with Wood Brothers Racing, DiBenedetto produced the best statistical season of his young NCS career in 2020 and created many exciting moments on track. DiBenedetto scored three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in the No. 21 Ford Mustang. He earned a berth in the NCS Playoffs for the first time in his career before finishing 13th in the final series standings. DiBenedetto recorded runner-up finishes in both NCS races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to equal his career-best result. The 29-year-old racer also won the third and final stage of the All-Star Open race to secure a spot in the All-Star event at Bristol Motor Speedway before finishing in 13th place.
With a dream of someday competing in NASCAR, DiBenedetto and his family moved to North Carolina when the aspiring young racer was just 13 years old. As he worked his way up to racing late models, DiBenedetto was noticed by Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in 2008. The following year, JGR gave DiBenedetto the opportunity to compete in seven events for its NASCAR K&N Pro Series East team. DiBenedetto delivered as he won two races and three poles for JGR. The results opened the door for DiBenedetto to race for JGR in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) in 2009. Over the next five seasons, DiBenedetto continued to develop his skills as the Grass Valley, Calif., native made 50 starts across NXS and ARCA Menards Series competition.
In 2015, DiBenedetto got his first opportunity to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS). Originally set to split racing duties in the No. 83 BK Racing entry for the season, DiBenedetto was named the team’s full-time racer following the Daytona 500. He returned to BK Racing in 2016 and earned his first career NCS top-10 finish with a sixth-place result at Bristol Motor Speedway.
DiBenedetto joined Go Fas Racing in 2017 and he scored top-10 results in the No. 32 car at two of the biggest races of the year – at the Daytona 500 and in the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After another solid season in 2018, DiBendetto transitioned to Leavine Family Racing for the 2019 NCS season. Driving the No. 95 car, DiBenedetto produced three top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 2019. He nearly earned his first NCS win at Bristol Motor Speedway as he led 93 laps under the lights before damage to his car cost DiBenedetto the lead with 11 laps remaining and he fought hard to come in second place.
In October of 2019, it was announced the DiBenedetto would join Wood Brothers Racing and compete in the iconic No. 21 Ford. After a productive debut season in 2020 with the team, DiBenedetto will be racing for a return trip to the Playoffs this season and a chance to add to the legacy of Wood Brothers Racing by earning the organization’s 100th victory.
When he’s away from the track, DiBenedetto enjoys working out and spending time with his wife Taylor and their dog Brian at their home in Hickory, NC.
DiBenedetto Key Accomplishments:
- Finished second in both 2020 Las Vegas Motor Speedway races to equal his career-best result
- Raced his way into the 2020 All-Star Race by winning the final stage of the All-Star Open
- Scored a single-season career high 11 top-10 finishes in 2020
- Earned a spot in the 2020 NCS Playoffs
- Qualified for the 2021 Clash at Daytona by making the NCS Playoffs in 2020