After a 10-week layoff due to the coronavirus, Matt DiBenedetto climbed back into the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang and was back at work in Sunday’s The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway.
In an effort to try to prevent the spread of the virus, Sunday’s race was run without practice or qualifying.
DiBenedetto said taking the green flag at the “Track Too Tough to Tame” under those circumstances wasn’t as difficult as it might seem.
“It felt great to get back in the car,” he said. “It was like riding a bike. Even Lap One was not uncomfortable.
“It was good to get back in a rhythm.”
With no practice to fine-tune the set-up of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang, the team had to make its best guess as far as a combination of shocks, springs and adjustments.
DiBenedetto said they came close to getting the set-up they needed but were a bit off.
“We couldn’t get the balance right,” he said. “We worked on it, but never could get the speed we were looking for.
“At best we were a 10th– to 12th-place car and wound up 14th,” he said. “We fought hard and made the best adjustments we could, but we had to work with what we had when we unloaded.”
Sunday’s return to racing saw the Mustang of Kevin Harvick take the checkered flag, and Eddie Wood said the victory came at a great time for Ford Motor Company.
“With all that Ford has done in using its resources to address the health-care crisis facing our nation, the company and its employees deserve to have a race win to celebrate,” Wood said. “And it was more special because it was such a dominating victory.”
DiBenedetto’s 14th-place finish allowed him to remain ninth in the Cup standings heading into Wednesday night’s race, a rare mid-week Cup race which also will be run at Darlington Raceway.
Motorcraft offers a complete line of replacement parts that are recommended by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to underhood repairs, Motorcraft parts offer value with high quality and the right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available nationwide at Ford and Lincoln Dealers, independent distributors and automotive parts retailers, and are backed by the Service Parts Limited Warranty of Ford Motor Company. For more information, visit www.motorcraft.com.
Omnicraft is part of the Ford lineup of parts brands: Ford Parts, Motorcraft and Omnicraft. Omnicraft is the exclusive non-Ford/Lincoln parts brand of premium aftermarket parts. With over a century of parts heritage to build upon, Omnicraft provides excellent quality and fit and is a preferred choice of professional automotive technicians. To find out more about Omnicraft, visitwww.omnicraftautoparts.
About Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center
Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center offers extraordinary service for routine vehicle maintenance including tire repair and replacement with a Low Tire Price Guarantee and a full menu of automotive services including oil and filter, brakes, alignments, batteries, and shocks and struts on all vehicle makes and models. Service is performed by certified technicians at more than 1,000 locations worldwide while you wait, and no appointment is necessary. For more information about Quick Lane, please visit www.quicklane.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
Wood Brothers Racing
Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 99 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 120 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, is known for inventing the modern pit stop. The team currently runs the Ford Mustang driven by Matt DiBenedetto in the famous No. 21 racer.