Matt DiBenedetto scores maiden NASCAR national victory in chaotic Talladega Trucks

The last time Matt DiBenedetto won a NASCAR race, he was a 19-year-old prospect. Eleven years later, he is back in Victory Lane, albeit under controversial circumstances.

In true Talladega Superspeedway fashion, overtime to Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race was a chaotic affair until hell broke loose coming to the finish with a massive crash that placed DiBenedetto at the front of the pack on one lane opposite Bret Holmes. Although Holmes beat DiBenedetto to the line, the caution flag had come out before they reached the finish to freeze the order, and a length review by NASCAR found DiBenedetto was the leader at that time.

Because the race consequently ended under yellow, DiBenedetto officially did not lead a lap but was granted the win while Holmes was demoted to third behind Ben Rhodes. Overtime had been set up when Carson Hocevar‘s truck stopped on track with less than three laps to go.

It is DiBenedetto’s first win in a NASCAR national series after coming close so many times in the Cup Series prior to his exit after 2021. His only other victories in NASCAR-sanctioned divisions were three in what is now the ARCA Menards Series East in 2009 and 2011, with the last coming at Bowman Gray Stadium on 4 June 2011, a gap of 4,138 days (eleven years, three months, twenty-eight days). His team Rackley WAR also scores their maiden Truck triumph.

Much of the race was overshadowed by a horrific crash on lap 20 when Jordan Anderson‘s truck suffered an engine failure. Anderson was in the process of unbuckling himself and exiting the cockpit while his truck was still in motion, barely escaping before it slammed into the inside wall. He was airlifted to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital to be treated for second-degree burns to various parts of his body, though he would return home later in the night.

“So grateful for all the prayers and support,” reads a statement from Anderson. “Have been in some great hands with the NASCAR and UAB nurses and doctors. No doubt God’s hand was protecting me through that one. Scariest moment of my racing career by far.

“Ended up with second degree burns across my neck, face, right arm, hands and both knees. Getting cleared to go home tonight. Doctors say everything should be healing up within a few weeks.

“Will keep everyone updated on the healing process but just thankful it wasn’t worse.”

Hailie Deegan placed sixth for her best career finish, but her team was marred by a bizarre moment in the pits when her rear tyre changer ran across a live pit road to fetch a loose tyre. The crewman was quickly ejected from the track by NASCAR and had his credentials revoked.

Race results

Finish Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Status
1 30 25 Matt DiBenedetto Rackley WAR Chevrolet 95 Running
2 15 99 Ben Rhodes ThorSport Racing Toyota 95 Running
3 23 32 Bret Holmes Bret Holmes Racing Chevrolet 95 Running
4 10 17 Ryan Preece^ David Gilliland Racing Ford 95 Running
5 13 98 Christian Eckes ThorSport Racing Toyota 95 Running
6 27 1 Hailie Deegan David Gilliland Racing Ford 95 Running
7 26 61 Chase Purdy Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota 95 Running
8 7 91 Colby Howard McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet 95 Running
9 21 75 Parker Kligerman Henderson Motorsports Chevrolet 95 Running
10 20 16 Tyler Ankrum Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota 95 Running
11 36 30 Kaden Honeycutt On Point Motorsports Toyota 95 Running
12 25 84 Clay Greenfield Cook Racing Technologies Toyota 95 Running
13 8 19 Derek Kraus McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet 95 Running
14 2 18 Chandler Smith Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota 95 Running
15 33 56 Timmy Hill Hill Motorsports Toyota 95 Running
16 29 20 Parker Retzlaff* Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 95 Running
17 4 38 Zane Smith Front Row Motorsports Ford 95 Running
18 28 02 Kaz Grala Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 95 Running
19 14 24 Jack Wood GMS Racing Chevrolet 95 Running
20 18 52 Stewart Friesen Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota 95 Running
21 32 44 Bayley Currey* Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 95 Running
22 5 88 Matt Crafton ThorSport Racing Toyota 95 Running
23 6 66 Ty Majeski ThorSport Racing Toyota 95 Running
24 1 4 John Hunter Nemechek Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota 95 Running
25 19 13 Johnny Sauter ThorSport Racing Toyota 95 Running
26 12 51 Corey Heim Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota 94 Accident
27 24 9 Blaine Perkins CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet 94 Accident
28 3 42 Carson Hocevar Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 94 Running
29 16 23 Grant Enfinger GMS Racing Chevrolet 94 Running
30 17 22 Austin Wayne Self AM Racing Chevrolet 78 Accident
31 11 15 Tanner Gray David Gilliland Racing Ford 78 Accident
32 31 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing Chevrolet 73 Clutch
33 34 45 Lawless Alan Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 32 Accident
34 35 40 Dean Thompson Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 32 Accident
35 22 28 Bryan Dauzat FDNY Racing Chevrolet 32 DVP
36 9 3 Jordan Anderson Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet 18 Accident
DNQ 46 Tim Viens G2G Racing Toyota
DNQ 12 Spencer Boyd Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet
DNQ 33 Jason White Reaume Brothers Racing Toyota
DNQ 43 Natalie Decker Reaume Brothers Racing Toyota
Bold – Currently in playoffs
^ – Currently in owner playoffs
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points