Why the Future of Matt DiBenedetto Hangs on Keselowski’s Decision to Join Roush Fenway

Published 05/21/2021, 10:17 AM EDT
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 02: Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the #95 Procore Toyota, stands on the grid during the Salute to Veterans Qualifying Day Fueled by The Texas Lottery for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


Earlier this week, reports emerged that Brad Keselowski could be in line for a Roush Fenway Racing seat. In the process, Matt DiBenedetto could be one of the drivers impacted by the move.

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The 2012 Cup Series champion is supposedly seeking a driving role and an ownership stake in the outfit. Both Roush Fenway and Wood Brothers Racing are associated with Team Penske, which complicates things.

It didn’t help that Wood Brothers are eyeing Austin Cindric in the #21 Ford in 2022. That move leaves DiBenedetto on the lurch and hunting for his 2022 ride.

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“I’m pretty much on the same page and wondering some of the same questions and who knows what’s going to happen,” DiBenedetto said.

“I talk about it all the time with my situation that basically everyone wants to know so early, ‘Matt what do you think, what are you doing for next year, you have any talks, has Team Penske or the Wood Brothers told you anything?’ This and that.

“I’m like, well, no, no, no and no, and my answer would be that my situation completely relies on other dominos falling first, and maybe that’s one of them.”

What lies in the future for Matt DiBenedetto?

Admittedly, Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark dodged the questions. However, it does not change the fact that the move is a sensational one. It is worth noting that Keselowski will likely take over the #6 Ford, leaving Ryan Newman without a ride.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 08: Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Season Finale 500 at Phoenix Raceway on November 08, 2020 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Additionally, Keselowski’s departure also opens up a berth in the #2 Penske. It is possible for DiBenedetto to gun for the vacant seat, but the decision lies with the team.

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Last year, DiBenedetto qualified for the Cup Series Playoffs and once again finds himself on the prowl. Unfortunately, he suffered from a fairly sluggish start to his 2021 campaign.

For now, he will just have to sit and wait to see how things play out. Keselowski already has his immediate future sorted, and the other NASCAR puzzle pieces will soon fall into place.

However, all that is still far away, as DiBenedetto and his contemporaries look forward to the inaugural Cup race at COTA.

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Dhruv George

11616 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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