No. 95 Dumont JETS Toyota Camry Notes:
· DIBENEDETTO BY THE NUMBERS: In four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career starts at Las Vegas, Matt DiBenedetto has an average start of 30.8 and an average finish of 25.8 with his best finish of 22nd in last March’s event. He’s completed 1,061 of 1,073 (98.9 percent) career laps at the 1.5-mile track.
· TOYOTA PITPASS APPEARANCE: DiBenedetto is scheduled to do a fan Q&A session out at Toyota’s PitPass display on Sunday, March 3rd at 9:00am local time.
· RACE INFO: The Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile) begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 3rd. The race will be broadcast live on FOX, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio.
DiBenedetto’s Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats at Las Vegas:
Date Event: S F Laps Status
03/06/16 Kobalt 400 34 31 263/267 Running
03/12/17 Kobalt 400 31 26 265/267 Running
03/04/18 Pennzoil 400 32 22 264/267 Running
09/16/18 South Point 400 26 24 269/272 Running
Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s Poles
DiBenedetto’s 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Season Stats:
Starts Wins Top-5’s Top-10’s Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
2 0 0 0 0 49 14.5 27.0
DiBenedetto’s Career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Stats:
142 0 0 4 0 72 30.9 28.9
From the Driver’s Seat:
Matt DiBenedetto: “We were able to participate in the Vegas test back in January. That test session, and especially this past weekend’s race in Atlanta, validated my thinking about this package, which was that restarts and pit stops will be the most important things to focus on during a race now. Dirty air is so tough now with this aero package so that’s why restarts are so important. Qualifying will be interesting this weekend because typically at Vegas, we’re wide open, so there may be some games being played during that session, you never know. Looking ahead to this weekend, I have a feeling we’re going to be in the gas a lot more than we were in Atlanta last weekend, so that will change how we race, and I think the field may be a little more stuck together because of the draft and the aeroducts. I’m feeling confident heading into this weekend because the test taught us a lot, and some of that was even what not to do with this new package, which is just as helpful. We also learned a lot this past weekend at Atlanta, even though there will be some changes to the package for this weekend. In the past for Vegas weekends, you needed a good-handling car that was fast, but track position wasn’t as big of a deal, but now with this new package, it’s all about seeing if you can make-up any positions on restarts because once the field single-files out, it’s really difficult to pass.”
From the Pit Box:
Mike Wheeler: “Fortunately, we were able to test Vegas back in January where we got some good track time to get enough experience to learn from as we head back there this weekend. In Atlanta this past weekend, we had to learn about appropriate grip and downforce, where it seemed like during our test at Vegas we had to have our Camry more trimmed out with less drag in order to be fast. Once we get into the race conditions this weekend it will be warmer than our test dates were, but we’ll work on making sure that we have a good balance, but also focus on the overall car speed. I think that this weekend will be more of a track position race than what we saw at Atlanta. I’m not sure if this weekend’s addition of the drafting ducts will play much into what you see on the track. It might be slightly different than what we saw last weekend, but I’m not sure it’s going to greatly affect the race-ability or drafting. At the end of the day, looking ahead to this weekend, I think that some of the restarts may be a bit harrier, you’ll see teams working on trying to get good restarts in order to get all the track position you can get, while also working to find the best line around the track in order to not get disrupted with air. I think that the field will start to spread out over the long runs, however, I think the moment you hit lapped traffic it might be equally hard to pass. It’ll be interesting as a whole this weekend to see which strategies play out as far as staying out or taking tires, and two versus four tires, etc. I think it’s still a big learning curve this weekend, and it will be quite different than Atlanta was to say the least.”
Leavine Family Racing PR