Matt DiBenedetto gets a NASCAR Truck Series win at Talladega Superspeedway in the Chevy Silverado 250 on Saturday afternoon.
TALLADEGA, Ala. – It took a lot of last lap gumption on the Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway high banks and an official ‘race finish review’ afterward, but longtime competitor Matt DiBenedetto earned his first NASCAR national series race victory in Saturday’s Chevy Silverado 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
Matt DiBenedetto Gets a NASCAR Truck Series Win at Talladega
Because the race ended under caution, NASCAR officials reviewed the video to determine who was leading when an accident froze the field from the checkered flag. Ultimately, it marked the first and only lap the former NASCAR Cup Series driver DiBenedetto had ever led in the truck series – and it delivered his first NASCAR National Series trophy.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship competitor Ben Rhodes was scored runner-up with a young rookie – and Alabama native – Bret Holmes in third place.
It marked the fifth consecutive Talladega truck race that the winner led only the last lap.
“Oh man, it’s been such a long time coming,” said the 31-year-old Californian DiBenedetto, who recently renewed his contract with the No. 25 Rackley WAR Chevrolet team. “I’m so thankful.
“It just seems so surreal,” DiBenedetto added before offering good wishes to fellow driver Jordan Anderson, who was transported to the hospital after an accident on lap 19.
“I think my heart rate was higher waiting for that than [taking] the white flag.”
A Dramatic, Disappointing, and Validating Finish for Alabama Native, Bret Holmes
It was a typically competitive afternoon at Talladega – with 11 leaders and 25 lead changes in the 95-lap race – only to end with a dramatic push for the checkered flag in a green-white-checkered overtime finish.
The 25-year-old Holmes – the 2020 ARCA Menards Series champion – led the white flag lap and thought he was ahead when the final yellow and checkered flags waved and pulled up to the trophy stand, where DiBenedetto later pulled alongside.
“It definitely showed we deserve to be here,” Holmes said. “Tough to lose that one for sure.”
The Best of the Rest
Ryan Preece and Playoff driver Christian Eckes rounded out the top five. Hailie Deegan – the only full-time woman competitor in the series – earned a career-best sixth-place finish. Chase Purdy, Colby Howard, Parker Kligerman, and Tyler Ankrum rounded out the top ten.
Jordan Anderson has Firery Crash while Running in the Top Five
Anderson, who emerged from a fiery single-truck crash on lap 19, was transported to a local hospital where he was reported awake and alert.
Playoff Driver Finishes at Talladega
As for the Playoffs, only two driver championship contenders – Rhodes and Eckes – finished among the top ten. With Ty Majeski’s win at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept. 15, he is the only driver to have already secured a position in the Championship 4.
Chandler Smith was 14th, Zane Smith, 17th and Stewart Friesen was 20th. Majeski finished 23rd and polesitter John Hunter Nemechek – who won Stage 1 – was 24th.
The Playoff standings continue to be very tight beyond Majeski. Chandler Smith holds a 12-point edge on Zane Smith with reigning series champion Ben Rhodes in that crucial fourth position, 27 points behind Chandler Smith.
Eckes and Friesen are both three points behind Rhodes. Nemechek is five points from the cutoff line and Grant Enfinger, who was involved in an accident on Saturday afternoon is now 26 points behind Rhodes.
Non-Playoff Contender Matt DiBenedetto is Happy with First Victory
While not running for the season title this season, DiBenedetto will leave Talladega with a full heart and lots of hope for next year thanks to securing this memorable first victory.
“We’ve come so close so many times at this track, I’ve felt like Talladega – more than Bristol or any of those places – owes me one so pretty sweet,” DiBenedetto said adding, “The wait was well worth it.”
Next Up for the NASCAR Truck Series
The final Playoff race to decide which four drivers advance to the series Championship will be on Oct. 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (1 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The trucks last raced at the South Florida track in June 2020 where Kyle Busch earned his third series win at the track.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race – 17th Annual Chevy Silverado 250
Saturday, October 1, 2022
1. (30) Matt DiBenedetto, Chevrolet, 95.
2. (15) Ben Rhodes (P), Toyota, 95.
3. (23) Bret Holmes, Chevrolet, 95.
4. (10) Ryan Preece (P), Ford, 95.
5. (13) Christian Eckes (P), Toyota, 95.
6. (27) Hailie Deegan, Ford, 95.
7. (26) Chase Purdy, Toyota, 95.
8. (7) Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 95.
9. (21) Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, 95.
10. (20) Tyler Ankrum, Toyota, 95.
11. (36) Kaden Honeycutt, Toyota, 95.
12. (25) Clay Greenfield, Toyota, 95.
13. (8) Derek Kraus, Chevrolet, 95.
14. (2) Chandler Smith (P), Toyota, 95.
15. (33) Timmy Hill, Toyota, 95.
16. (29) Parker Retzlaff(i), Chevrolet, 95.
17. (4) Zane Smith (P), Ford, 95.
18. (28) Kaz Grala, Chevrolet, 95.
19. (14) Jack Wood #, Chevrolet, 95.
20. (18) Stewart Friesen (P), Toyota, 95.
21. (32) Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 95.
22. (5) Matt Crafton, Toyota, 95.
23. (6) Ty Majeski (P), Toyota, 95.
24. (1) John Hunter Nemechek (P), Toyota, 95.
25. (19) Johnny Sauter, Toyota, 95.
26. (12) Corey Heim # (P), Toyota, Accident, 94.
27. (24) Blaine Perkins #, Chevrolet, Accident, 94.
28. (3) Carson Hocevar, Chevrolet, 94.
29. (16) Grant Enfinger (P), Chevrolet, 94.
30. (17) Austin Wayne Self, Chevrolet, Accident, 78.
31. (11) Tanner Gray, Ford, Accident, 78.
32. (31) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, Clutch, 73.
33. (34) Lawless Alan #, Chevrolet, Accident, 32.
34. (35) Dean Thompson #, Chevrolet, Accident, 32.
35. (22) Bryan Dauzat, Chevrolet, DVP, 32.
36. (9) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, Accident, 18.
The Chevy Silverado 250 Stats
Average Speed of Race Winner: 114.286 mph.
Time of Race: Two Hrs, 12 Mins, 40 Secs. The Margin of Victory: Under Caution Seconds.
Caution Flags: Nine for 36 laps.
Lead Changes: 25 among 11 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Nemechek (P) 1-2; Z. Smith (P) 3; T. Majeski (P) 4; J. Nemechek (P) 5-22; M. Crafton 23; C. Smith (P) 24-37; B. Rhodes (P) 38-39; C. Smith (P) 40-42; C. Purdy 43-45; B. Holmes 46-48; C. Purdy 49; C. Eckes (P) 50; C. Purdy 51-52; B. Holmes 53-54; C. Eckes (P) 55-56; C. Hocevar 57; C. Eckes (P) 58-62; D. Kraus 63-65; C. Eckes (P) 66-70; C. Hocevar 71; C. Eckes (P) 72; C. Hocevar 73-75; C. Eckes (P) 76-77; C. Hocevar 78-84; C. Eckes (P) 85-93; B. Holmes 94-95.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Christian Eckes (P) seven times for 25 laps; John Hunter Nemechek (P) two times for 20 laps; Chandler Smith (P) two times for 17 laps; Carson Hocevar four times for 12 laps; Bret Holmes three times for seven laps; Chase Purdy three times for six laps; Derek Kraus one time for three laps; Ben Rhodes (P) one time for two laps; Zane Smith (P) one time for one lap; Ty Majeski (P) one time for one lap; Matt Crafton one time for one lap.
Stage 1 Top Ten: 4,38,42,18,15,91,99,51,16,98
Stage 2 Top Ten: 18,4,52,99,23,98,16,51,38,66