Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team continued their strong start to the 2020 Cup season with a ninth-place qualifying effort at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday.
It was the first top-10 qualifying spot for DiBenedetto since joining the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, and it comes on the heels of three strong runs that have propelled them to eighth place in the Cup standings.
Driving at one of his favorite tracks, DiBenedetto was 20th fastest in both pre-race practice sessions with a best lap at 132.125 miles per hour in the opening session and 131.984 mph in Happy Hour.
In Saturday’s qualifying for the FanShield 500-kilometer race on the one-mile oval, he picked up speed significantly from practice, touring the track at 137.289 mph.
Eddie Wood said he was proud of his team’s work throughout the weekend.
"It was quite a pickup from practice," Wood said of Saturday’s qualifying performance. "Now we’ll see what we have on Sunday."
The FanShield 500 is set to get the green flag at 12:35 p.m. (3:35 p.m. Eastern Time) with TV coverage on FOX.