Matt DiBenedetto hears the same things we all do. He’s fighting for his job with Leavine Family Racing right now. It’s August and he hasn’t heard anything on his situation with the organization for next season. Time is running out to make a deal to remain in the No. 95 Toyota for the 2020 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
He knows that the more Erik Jones keeps this streak going all the more likely that Joe Gibbs Racing will extend him past this year. See, Jones is a free agent at seasons end. But, he and JGR would like to remain together. It’s getting late for that to work out too. If they do extend his contract, then that leaves the team needing somewhere to house Christopher Bell.
The noise is that if indeed this happens, Bell will end up with LFR which means if LFR doesn’t expand to a second car, then DiBenedetto is out.
So, the California native is doing this best to make this an even harder decision. On Sunday, DiBenedetto brought the No. 95 entry home sixth to give Toyota four of the top six finishing positions in the Go Bowling at the Glen.
It was DiBenedetto’s fourth top eight finish in his last seven starts on the season. One of those was a fourth place run in Sonoma.
“Track position was big and we got messed up in our qualifying run by a couple guys, but it wasn’t their fault,” DiBenedetto said of his day. “So that set us back and we just had to diligently all race long, inch our way forward little by little. It was cool and it’s always so satisfying on these road courses for us to inch our way forward and pass some guys. I wish we could have started a little further forward. I know we could have run a little bit better, but that’s fine. It’s fun to get so much support from all our team, Toyota, JGR and Procore. I just hope I can be a part of this for a long time to come. … (Elliott and Truex) had good track position all day and their cars were fast. Martin’s obviously an excellent road racer, I’ve gotten some good advice from him on the road course at Sonoma and some other places. He’s good, he’s a champion and he’s one of the best. Chase and that 9 team, they are fast at this place and their cars have a lot of speed so it makes sense that they were up front. I think we could have gotten a few more positions if we had track position. Our speed was there, but it was hard to pass with the dirty air.”