Daytona International Speedway
Start: 8th | Finish: 20th | Driver Points: 13th | Owner Points: 14th
Race Recap: Following a throttle linkage issue that plagued the team during Thursday’s practice session, Matt DiBenedetto qualified the No. 25 Chevrolet eighth for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
But when the race came around, Mother Nature had other ideas, allowing the field to run just two of the first 10 laps under the green flag, broken up into single lap runs by a pair of cautions for rain. A clearing in the radar allowed the final 10 laps of stage one to be run under green, and DiBenedetto moved his truck into third, garnering eight stage points.
Stage two saw just four laps before a crash collected eight trucks, including the No. 25, causing extensive damage. The carnage resulted in a nine minute red flag that allowed crew chief Chad Kendrick to assess the damage and formulate a plan for repairs.
Once the red flag was lifted, the team quickly went to work addressing the front end damage, including a crucial hole in the nose, with multiple sheets of bear bond. Utilizing multiple stops to retain as much track position as possible, the field saw another brief red flag, this time just under three minutes, for rain. One more stop to pull out the fenders and add a splash of fuel saw DiBenedetto restart 30th, and while he was deep in the field, the driver reported the truck drove fine.
A six truck pileup ended stage two with a caution, and while DiBendetto wasn’t involved, spotters reported a right front tire fire on the No. 25, likely caused by a brake issue after running over debris from that crash.
After restarting fourth with 54 laps remaining, DiBenedetto got caught up in his second incident of the night when another driver got loose in front of him and spun across the nose of the truck. This time, the damage was much worse, but the team went to work with hammers and saws in an attempt to salvage a decent finish out of a truck that showed incredible speed.
Though it appeared to only be sheet metal damage to the truck, DiBenedetto reported high water temperatures and brought the truck down pit road once again, this time for the team to inspect the ductwork. With everything intact, he went back out on the track and reported the temperature dropping back to a more normal level.
A lap 65 restart proved to be another short green flag run when rain once again began falling over Daytona. This time, though, it was a heavier rain that resulted in a red flag of about an hour. Despite the delay, NASCAR dried the track and drivers reported to their trucks once again. But the field never took the green flag as rain once again fell, ultimately resulting in the sanctioning body ending the race after completing just 79 of the scheduled 100 laps.
DiBenedetto limped his damaged and beaten No. 25 Chevrolet to a 20th-place finish. He currently sits 13th in the driver points standings.
Next Up: Victoria’s Voice 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Friday, March 3, 2023 at 9:00 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 | Motor Racing Network | SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90
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About Rackley W.A.R: Rackley W.A.R.’s first season in the NASCAR Craftsman® Truck Series came in 2021. The driver roster has included such standout names as Timothy Peters, Josh Berry, William Byron, Brett Moffitt, and Willie Allen. Since 2022, our primary driver for the NASCAR Truck Series has been racing veteran, Matt DiBenedetto. Collectively, Rackley W.A.R. has won multiple premier racing events with our fantastic host of drivers, including the team’s first NASCAR Craftsman® Truck Series win at Talladega Superspeedway in 2022 for the running of the Chevrolet 250. We are proud of our team’s growth, and look forward to our future expansion in motorsports.
About Rackley Roofing: Established in 1974, Rackley Roofing has become one of the leading industrial and commercial roofing contractors in Tennessee. As a full-service roofing company, we have dedicated, in-house crews who each focus on one specialty. We only hire highly skilled, full-time roofing experts, enabling us to offer unparalleled service that exceeds customer expectations.