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Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

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28. Matt DiBenedetto

Monday, December 3, 2018


The No. 95 Leavine Family Racing team has been getting progressively better over the past couple of years.

With Michael McDowell behind the wheel in 2017 they finished 26th in the points. That gave Kasey Kahne the confidence to join them last year, but perhaps because of a medical condition that eventually forced him out of racing, they did not capitalize.

Regan Smith helped them close out the year strong as they ended nine points shy of matching that position. They were 27th behind Front Row Motorsports’ No. 38.

Mid-season, Matt DiBenedetto announced he was going to bet on himself. He made the decision not to return to Go Fas Racing because he wanted to be available for a better ride that would come available during Silly Season. Go Fas ended last year 31st in owner points – four behind the No. 95.

The good news is that DiBenedetto’s skills match up to where Leavine runs well. Both driver and team are strong on the big tracks although it remains to be seen how things will change in 2019 with the new rules package.

Two of DiBenedetto’s six top-20s came on road courses with a 13th on the Charlotte Roval and a 17th at Sonoma.

He finished on the lead lap six times in 2018; four of those results came on the plate and road courses. One other was at Pocono in July, but that is an easy track on which to complete the distance. His final lead lap finish was much more impressive. In April, DiBenedetto completed all 402 laps at Richmond and finished just outside the top 15 in 16th.

The best thing about this driver and team in 2019 is going to be their potential. If they can pick up where McDowell left off two seasons ago and improve to the low-20s in the points standings, the No. 95 will have some solid runs in about one-quarter of their starts. Picking them on the right weekend could mean the difference between winning and losing.

Three Best Tracks
Bristol (20.6 in eight attempts)
Daytona (22.1 in seven)
Sonoma (25.0 in 4)

Three Worst Tracks
Kentucky (35.5 in 4)
Martinsville (33.0 in 8)
Atlanta (33.0 in 4)

Victories: None (Best finish = 7th – Daytona, summer)
Top-fives: 0 (.000)
Top-10s: 1 (.028)
Top-15s: 2 (.056)



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



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