The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is back on the road this week after two races in Charlotte, North Carolina. Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA will be the site of this weekend’s Pocono 400. A unique racetrack on the NASCAR schedule, Pocono Raceway is infamous for its saying, “What Turn 4?”, due to being the only racetrack with three-corners on the racing circuit. At 2.5-miles long, it is also one of the longest tracks on the NASCAR schedule as well.
Last year, “The Tricky Triangle” had plenty of tricks in store for DiBenedetto. A mechanical failure ended DiBenedetto’s race less than ten laps from the finish in the spring, and in the fall, a big crash on lap one damaged the No.32 beyond repair. The two finishes, 32nd and 37th, were disappointing for the team, but with the new year comes new opportunity for the No.32 Ford. Crew Chief Randy Cox and Matt DiBenedetto have never worked together before, so this will also be a new opportunity for the driver/crew chief pairing.
Last Week For the No.32 Zynga Poker Team:
Last weekend’s race, the Coca-Cola 600, is the longest race of the NASCAR season. DiBenedetto qualified the Cosmo Motors No.32 in the 31st position on Thursday afternoon’s qualifying session, but knew there was more potential in the racecar. Calling it, “the best racecar I’ve ever had at Charlotte”, DiBenedetto moved into the top-30 and raced there for most of the day before a mechanical failure forced him out of the race, resulting in a 37th place finish for the Cosmo Motors team.
DiBenedetto on racing at “The Tricky Triangle”:
“The racing Pocono Raceway is fast and exciting. There are some tracks you get really excited to head to on our schedule, and Pocono is always one of those for me. It’s such a cool racetrack because every corner is different and it drives very similar to a road course. We had really bad luck here, probably the worst of any racetrack that we went to last year, so we know that the only way to go from there is up,” DiBenedetto stated.
He added, “Pocono is infamous for wild restarts so we know it’ll be important for us to make up as many positions as possible on those. We see a lot of tire failures and brake failures at Pocono because of the long straightaways, and those types of tracks are usually beneficial for us since we don’t push our setups in the same way the big teams do in those areas. We’ll work hard to save our tires, transmission, and brakes all day. It’ll be exciting to see what kind of speed [Crew Chief] Randy can find for our Zynga Poker Ford.”
Matt DiBenedetto Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Pocono Raceway:
Average Start: 33rd
Average Finish: 33rd
Best Finish: 28th (2016)
Go Fas Racing PR/Photo Sarah Crabill/Getty Images