DiBenedetto Earns Eighth Starting Spot in Thursday’s Second Duel Qualifying Race

DiBenedetto Earns Eighth Starting Spot in Thursday’s Second Duel Qualifying Race NK Photography Photo

Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew got off to a solid start in their first qualifying session as a team, posting the 16th fastest speed in pole qualifying for the 62nd annual Daytona 500.

Only the top-two starting spots are locked in for the 500, with the rest of the line-up determined by the twin Duel qualifying races on Thursday night. DiBenedetto will line up in eighth place in the second 150-mile qualifier.

 “Today is important; it is still an important day,” DiBenedetto told reporters after posting a speed of 191. 685 miles per hour in Sunday’s time trials. “A better starting spot for the Duels is nice. It isn’t the end-all, be-all for sure, but it is always important. 

 “It is the first qualifying of the year and for the Daytona 500, so it means a lot to the teams and the speed of the car is a testament to the teams.”
 
DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang have shown good speed in the early runs at Daytona International Speedway.

He was 10th fastest in Saturday’s opening practice session with a best lap at 201.902 mph, and was eighth among drivers with a best 10-consecutive-lap average of 197.936 mph.

 In the second session, with the focus on a single-car run, he was 18th fastest, running just three laps with a best lap at 192.732 mph.

 Thursday’s Duel qualifying races are set to start at 7 p.m. with TV coverage on Fox Sports 1.

 The Daytona 500 is scheduled to start just after 2:30 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.

WBR PR

Speedway Digest Staff

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest