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.
|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|
^ – Currently in owner playoffs
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points