After a disappointing finish in the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang at the virtual Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday, Matt DiBenedetto now turns his attention to the virtual Bristol Motor Speedway, where he’ll pilot the No. 21 REESE/Draw-Tite Mustang in the third round of the NASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing Series.
At Texas, DiBenedetto was running 11th and poised to move up when he bounced off the wall and damaged his car on a long green-flag run late in the race.
Still he managed to salvage a 15th-place finish, one spot better than where he qualified.
“I was saving my right-front tire, driving smart and smacked the wall all by myself,”
DiBenedetto said. “I was faster than a big group ahead of me and had a top-five car, but I messed it up.”
Now he’s focused on Bristol and preparing himself to race the No. 21 adorned in the blue and white REESE and Draw-Tite colors for the first time, on the virtual version of the track where he finished second in last year’s night race after leading 93 laps late in the race.
“Bristol is my best track in real life,” DiBenedetto said. “But iRacing has a different feel to it.
“It takes a lot of practice to get more comfortable with it and to have the precision you need.”
He said that in addition to working out to keep himself in shape for his eventual return to traditional racing, he’ll spend hours this week in front of his computer preparing for Sunday’s virtual run on the high-banked, half-mile asphalt track.
“I’ll definitely put a lot of practice into it,” he said.
Eddie Wood said he and his family team are proud to have their virtual Mustang carry the universally known REESE and Draw-Tite brands, which have been providing heavy-duty and custom hitches and towing equipment since their inceptions in 1952 and 1946.
“As NASCAR’s oldest continuously operating race team, it always feels special to be associated with companies that have similar histories to ours,” he said.
The Bristol race is set to get the green flag on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, with TV coverage on FOX, FOX Sports 1 and the FOX Sports app.