Matt DiBenedetto is watching drivers get contacts in line for 2021. Christopher Bell will replace Erik Jones with Joe Gibbs Racing. Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola will be back with their respective teams. As rides are being filled, DiBenedetto is hopeful he can remain put in his No. 21 Ford.
DiBenedetto, made the playoffs for the first time of his career in his first season with the Wood Brothers. But, nothing is set past this season.
“Yeah, it is funny, we have talked about that,” said the 29 year old. “I hadn‘t even brought it up or talked about it because the focus was so much of just making the playoffs, which I am so glad we did for the team. Obviously I love driving for the Wood Brothers and our alliance with Team Penske is incredible and a place I want to call home for many years to come. I am sure we will get to that.
“My contract has options built in for multiple years and they expressed that they wanted this to be a relationship for many years to come so I would expect to have those talks here pretty soon to hopefully do what I assume should be continuing to drive this 21 car.”
DiBenedetto, scored a season best finish of second back in February in Vegas. He’s had five top five finishes overall.
DiBenedetto related some of the pressures of making the postseason cut in last Saturday’s regular-season finale, saying that nerves began to wear for both him and his wife, Taylor. But DiBenedetto said that the Wood family helped to relieve some of the tension, saying they supported him regardless of the outcome.
“I would say that this week has been a release,” DiBenedetto said. “It was so stressful and kept getting more stressful leading up to Daytona and the points closed in and we lost the gap that we had and all that. I would call this week exciting and we got to celebrate with some friends out on the lake Sunday and have a good time but come Monday it was time to shift focus and we still have a lot of racing left and a lot to accomplish. It was a relief and exciting moving forward now instead of stressful.
“Exciting knowing that we have an opportunity to really put a good end to our season and cap it off and have a lot more success. I am pretty pumped up about that and I am appreciative to be doing it for the Wood Brothers.”