Eagle-Eyed Fans Connect the Dots as Chris Rice Hints at Matt DiBenedetto’s Failed Deal With Kaulig Racing

Published 01/31/2024, 8:45 PM EST

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Just when everyone was betting their bottom dollar on Matt DiBenedetto‘s 2024 NASCAR ride being a sure thing, the rug got pulled out from under him. Chris Rice spilled the beans on The Morning Drive. He danced around the topic, careful not to step on any legal toes, hinting that Matt was all set to join Kaulig Racing until a sponsorship deal went south.

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Not too long ago, Matt himself took to the internet waves with a video, giving his followers the lowdown on the whole kerfuffle. He mentioned he was still in the game, trying to piece together his NASCAR puzzle for the upcoming year. But, alas, it seems all his efforts hit a brick wall, and now the fanbase is all abuzz, playing detective to piece together the mystery of what really went down behind the curtain.

The latest scoop on Matt DiBenedetto’s 2024 adventures


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So, Matt DiBenedetto and Rackley W.A.R. called it quits before the 2023 season even wrapped up, leaving him high and dry without a sponsor. But whispers in the wind hinted at a brighter horizon. Matt played it coy, teasing about “exploring all the options in all series” in the racing world, yet kept the juicy details under wraps.

But then his dreams of teaming up with Kaulig Racing bit the dust. Chris Rice spilled the beans on The Morning Drive, carefully tiptoeing around the specifics. He hinted that Matt was Kaulig-bound until a sponsorship deal crumbled at the eleventh hour. Social media buzz and calls for understanding have been the talk of the town, leaving everyone wondering, “What’s the next move?”


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Earlier, with a candid video, Matt reassured everyone, “Just an update of everything going on. Everything is good. Everything is good in our world. No, I’m not retiring… I love NASCAR. I love driving in circles for a living. I’m not going anywhere.” He urged folks not to pity him, painting a picture of a life well-lived, despite having to ditch a sponsorship deal and move on. “So, unfortunate circumstances, but hey it’s all good. Everything will work out exactly how it’s supposed to,” he added, oozing optimism.


The whole scene started back in December 2023, when Matt dropped a cryptic tweet featuring a pen, hinting at a fresh deal post-Christmas. The gossip mill went into overdrive, with fingers pointing at several prospects with the most prominent one being signed by Kaulig Racing. However, other options included AM Racing as his next pit stop. They were eyeing a second team and had just brought Hailie Deegan on board. But those plans hit a snag, as reported by Toby Christie. Given Matt’s career and AM Racing’s hunt for a steady hand to guide Deegan, the match seemed less than perfect.

Cup Series aspirations also loomed on the horizon, but with seats as rare as hen’s teeth, Kaulig Racing’s 2023 victory offered a glimmer of hope for top-notch gear. Meanwhile, Rickware Racing dangled the possibility of an open seat, but nothing was yet set in stone.

Over in the Truck Series, Young’s Motorsports was teasing a move to the Xfinity Series, potentially dialing down their Truck Series efforts, leaving Matt out in the cold. Hattori Racing Enterprises, on the lookout for a new face with Tyler Ankrum bowing out, could’ve been a wildcard for Matt, but his estranged relationship with Toyota threw a wrench in the works.

But as per the most recent update on his deal, the driver said, “Further update, not that it matters. The reality of it was we had a signed pretty big sponsor deal and they lied. And didn’t follow through on their end. So, that’s why we had to pull the plug.” 


And now, the fans are piecing together this puzzle, eager to see where Matt’s racing saga takes him next.

Watch This Story: Nascar News the Uncertain Road Ahead Matt Dibenedettos 2024 Nascar Journey

Detective fans try to find out what is happening behind the scenes


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As the question popped up on Reddit, the fanbase turned into amateur detectives, piecing together the Matt DiBenedetto puzzle. One sleuth pondered if DiBenedetto’s missed opportunity was the part-time Cup seat that Josh Williams recently snagged. “I wonder if this was the Cup seat Josh Williams is going to fill part time?” the fan said, sparking a lightbulb moment for others. “Ya know now that you say it the whole thing kinda makes sense.”

The shift from fans’ previous talks of “chasing trophies” to the current sponsorship desert had one fan lamenting, “How quickly we fell so far from “chasing trophies” huh.”

Yet, hope springs eternal for some, with one believer suggesting, “Assuming Matty D can find sponsorship, I could see Kaulig having him run a few races in a “prove it” deal.”


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NASCAR News: “They Lied” – Matt DiBenedetto Gets Transparent on Failed “Big Sponsor” Deal Amidst Dimming NASCAR Career

But then came a dose of reality from a keen observer, “Since when does Kaulig need a driver to bring sponsorship, surely if they really wanted him they would’ve just stuck him in one of the Leaf Filter cars.”



Written by:

Neha Dwivedi


One take at a time

Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As a journalist, she religiously believes in the power of research, which allows her readers to dive deep into her stories and experience the detailed nuances of the sport like never before. Being proficient with Core Sport and Live Event Coverage, she has written multiple copies on the top entities of Stock Car Racing, like Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Tony Stewart.
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