Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 83 BK Racing team had a career day on Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. DiBenedetto came into the day expecting a finish around 20th for the small organization. That prediction, however, turned out much better than anticipated by the 24-year old driver.
DiBenedetto shattered his previous best finish of 18th last season at Talladega Superspeedway after taking his No. 83 Cosmo Motors Toyota to a sixth-place finish on Sunday at Bristol. The driver and the entire team became very emotional after the race.
"It's going to take a night of sleep to sink in," an emotional DiBenedetto said in a release. "I am so happy for all the team, they deserve it for all the hard work they put in to make our cars better each week. It was a team effort today, not just me."
BK Racing entered their fifth season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in February at Daytona International Speedway. The finish currently marks their best since entering the premier series.
"This was a great day for Matt, and a great day for our entire organization," said team owner Ron Devine in a release. "We've continued to work through the challenges that every team encounters. Our goal each week is to achieve small victories. Today we accomplished that goal. I'm very proud of everyone at BK Racing."
DiBenedetto had a battle to climb as he started the 500-lap event in 30th. Bristol, one of the smallest tracks on the NASCAR circuit, can make it difficult for a driver starting in the back of the pack.
“It was an uphill battle for sure as we did not qualify where we wanted to,” DiBenedetto told Claire B Lang on SiriusXM NASCAR’s Dialed In after the race. “We struggled a little bit to get a good grip on the car but my guys worked their tails off and it showed clearly for us to battle to sixth. All day we were up and down on adjustments and just trying to dial it in right.”
Austin DiBenedetto, Matt’s brother, who also spoke with Claire B. Lang on Dialed In after the race, was also very excited and proud of his brother.
“I was just jumping up and down screaming and excited. I couldn’t believe it,” Austin said after the race. “I’m so proud of him. He did such a good job today. It was amazing.”
Other drivers besides DiBenedetto also walked away from Bristol with higher finishes than expected on Sunday. These include Trevor Bayne, who finished fifth in his Roush Fenway Racing Ford and Clint Bowyer, who took his No. 15 Harry Scott Motorsports Chevrolet to an eighth-place finish. Landon Cassill also had a good run going at one point by leading 20 laps in his No. 38 Snap Fitness Ford for Front Row Motorsports.
BK Racing currently fields two full-time entries with David Ragan and DiBenedetto. Ragan joined the team this past offseason after bouncing around three different Sprint Cup series teams last year. The Georgia native subbed for Kyle Busch after his incident at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener. He also stepped into the No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota for the rest of the season as Brian Vickers received treatments for blood clots. He raced with Front Row Motorsports in the season opening Daytona 500.