Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy team are hoping to rebound from a disappointing run in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway by posting a good finish in Saturday night’s Salute to American Heroes 400 at Richmond Raceway.
The event, which will be run on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America, will honor the first responders and other heroes of that fateful day.
While the day – and the race – likely will have a somber feel, DiBenedetto and the Menards/Dutch Boy team will be working hard to turn in a performance that will live up to the name of the race.
Throughout his Cup career, DiBenedetto has had some of his best runs on the shorter tracks such as the three-quarter-mile oval at Richmond.
It was there back in April that he got the first of his seven top-10 finishes this season.
“Short tracks are ones we look forward to most,” DiBenedetto said. “You’ve got to be easy on the throttle and on the tires.”
He’s also hoping to regain the momentum he’s had in recent weeks. In the past eight races, he’s had six finishes of 11th or better followed by a strong run at Daytona that ended with a crash while battling for the lead in the closing laps. The only disappointment was a 23rd-place finish at Darlington Sunday night.
“We have been on a good roll as a team and just have to shake off Darlington,” he said.
DiBenedetto will line up 28th for Saturday night’s 400-lapper as the starting positions are based on results from the most recent race, with the 16 Playoff drivers starting up front.
The green flag is set to fly just after 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time, with Stage breaks at Laps 80 and 235.
NBCSN will carry the live TV broadcast.