Matt DiBenedetto has been a fan favorite for his entire NASCAR Cup Series career. Well known as the underdog that has come so close to wins but just cant seem to get over the hump and take the checkered flag. This so close yet so far has grabbed the hearts of many fans, including myself, that just want him to win a race sometime before his career ends. Sadly, that dream may have taken a halt for bit when earlier this week it was announced that Harrison Burton would be the driver of the #21 car for the 2022 season leaving Dibby ride less as the season starts to come to an end.
DiBenedetto has been a favorite but has not always produced the best results on the track in the equipment he was given. He did state in a video that in his time with his current team, Wood Brothers Racing, that he did not feel the team was clicking until recently where he said that he felt the team would finally be able to compete with the others and get good results and maybe sneak a playoff spot as they only sit at -138 from the last spot.
The issue sadly for Matt was that he has taken too long to get to the point of competing. While the 21 is not the best of the best in terms of equipment it certainly is not a car that should be running where it has been. The growing pains excuse can only work for so long in a sport as cutthroat as NASCAR where results are expected immediately or else you get shuffled out for the next big thing in the sport. The excuses ran out when this year at Talladega Dibby had been running at close to the front all race, not really pushing hard to get to the front and staying out of trouble for the most part and at the end of the race he chose the wrong lane coming out of a turn and got shuffled out and blew his chance at the win that could have saved his career given how it has gone since then.
So now the question is what is next for the beloved driver that so many want to succeed? I think that somewhat of a reboot is needed if he ever wants a shot at a competitive ride again. This can mean 2 things, either he goes to a lower series or joins one of the wildcard teams at the back of the pack and out preforms the equipment and proves himself again as a driver and as a team player, a reputation he somewhat ruined when he threw his team under the bus heavily in his video talking about the release from Wood Brothers racing. It will be interesting to see how he review his career but for now all he can do is put out good results on the track with what he has left.