DiBenedetto’s Up for the Challenges of the Roval


With their deal to keep Matt DiBenedetto in the 21 for ’21 signed and sealed, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team now turns its attention to the Roval, the part-road course, part oval-track layout at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 will be contested on the three-year-old layout, a 2.28-mile course that features 17 turns. In it’s first two races, the Roval has seen a 14-car crash in the inaugural event in 2018 and four multi-car crashes last year plus one caution in which the eventual winner ran into a tire barrier. 

That brief history has caused the race to be considered a “wild card” event, but it’s one that DiBenedetto looks at as an opportunity to excel.

He’s yet to compete on the Roval in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang, but he ran well there for two previous teams, with finishes of 11th and 13th. And he had finishes of sixth and fourth last season on the road courses at Watkins Glen and Sonoma before joining the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team.

“I love road racing,” he said. “The Roval is always cool and challenging. Not much room for error there.”

DiBenedetto, who will start 20th on Sunday, also is thinking about a potential wild card within a wild card brought about by the uncertainty surrounding the possible path taken by the remnants of Hurricane Delta. That could mean continuing the race in the rain, with rain tires and windshield wipers employed.

“I think it would be interesting if rain gets thrown in the mix since it’s possible in the forecast,” he said.

There will be no practice or qualifying prior to the start of Sunday’s 109-lap, 252.88-mile race. The green flag is expected just after 2:30 p.m., with TV coverage on NBC.


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