“Definitely Made A Difference” – NASCAR Star Matt DiBenedetto Reflects on F1 Driver Romain Grosjean Surviving Fiery Crash

Published 12/13/2020, 8:40 AM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 09: Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 09, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


The motorsports racing world was stunned at the sight of F1 driver Romain Grosjean’s car crash in the Bahrain GP race. Many were aghast at seeing the car split into two pieces and immediately bursting into flames. One of them was NASCAR driver Matt DiBenedetto.

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The incident served to remind everyone of the dangers involved in motorsports. At the same time, a lot of credit went to the medical staff and marshals, who were on site to help Grosjean get away from the crash.

NASCAR in its time has also seen some tremendously dangerous and horrific crashes of different magnitudes. Cup Series driver DiBenedetto and Ryan Ellis got to talking in their podcast, briefly discussing the crash of the Haas F1 driver.

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Matt DiBenedetto believes the halo on Grosjean’s car helped his cause

Speaking to the podcast, DiBenedetto stated, “One half of the car on one side of the guard rail. One on the other side.”

Di Benedetto was then asked whether he faced anything akin to a fiery crash in his time of professional racing. He responded, “I have been like twice actually, it’s terrifying.”

Although not on the same scale, DiBenedetto’s car’s brakes had caught on fire during the 2018 Pocono 400. Fire extinguishers curbed the damage, and it forced him to retire from the race.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – General view of the wreckage of the car of Haas’ Romain Grosjean after he crashed out of the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

The Cup Series driver continued and said, “He had burns on his wrist and his ankles, I think. And he might have said broken ribs? Not sure on that, but either way just to survive that crash…”

“I think a lot of people are crediting it to the halo they have installed on the F1 cars. And it definitely made a difference. I think any bit of structural difference definitely helped there,” concluded DiBenedetto.

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The 29-year-old has been in a few crashes during his NASCAR career himself

DiBenedetto has gotten on the receiving end of a few bad crashes that ended his participation in races. Most recently, he got caught in a melee of cars on a Lap 176 restart in the race at Kansas Speedway.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – OCTOBER 28: Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the #21 Menards/Richmond Ford, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Regardless, he is a driver known for making the most on restarts and securing great track positions. While motorsports will continue to have dangers involved, drivers will need to assess the risks versus rewards strategy.

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DIVE DEEPER

NASCAR Drivers Send Their Prayers to F1 Driver Romain Grosjean After His Fiery Crash

10 months ago

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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