Denny Hamlin went to victory lane Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway but did so with mixed emotions.
“I’m so sorry to Matt DiBenedetto, Mike Wheeler. I hate it. I mean, I know a win would mean a lot to that team. I have to give it 110% for FedEx and my whole team. Just sorry.”
Winning at Bristol would have been a big moment for DiBenedetto who for years had raced in underfunded equipment before finding his stride at Leavine Family Racing only to find out he would lose his seat at the end of this season.
DiBenedetto was still thankful after the race thanking both the fans and his team in a social media post:
”I don’t even know where to start, thank you all so much for the support. I wanted to win SO BAD. The crowd reaction after the race absolutely broke me down and melted my heart. My entire team is so amazing and I’m lucky to have Wheels as my crew chief…he is THE BEST. I will forever be grateful for this team and the opportunity to show what we can do together. Thank you all so much for your support…you guys are amazing!”
DiBenedetto, in need of a ride for 2020, wore a robe and boxer gloves to driver introductions signifying his underdog status on the NASCAR garage.
The No. 95 Toyota will have a new driver next season with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell and Erik Jones the most likely candidates as the LFR team serves as a satellite team to JGR.