NASCAR Cup: Matt DiBenedetto cleared to race at Phoenix
By AMANDA VINCENT
Matt DiBenedetto has been cleared to return to the driver’s seat of the No. 83 BK Racing Chevrolet for Sunday’s Can-Am 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. He was sidelined for the Nov. 6 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth as a result of NASCAR’s concussion protocol.
“I am officially cleared to race this weekend at @PhoenixRaceway
! I am completely fine but I appreciate everyone looking out for my safety!” DiBenedetto (@MattDracing
) tweeted Tuesday.
He qualified 32nd Friday.
DiBenedetto planned to pull double-duty at Texas last weekend, running both the Xfinity and Sprint Cup series races. After crashing in the Nov. 5 Xfinity Series race, NASCAR opted to subject him to its concussion protocal, as a safety measure, prohibitting him from competing in the Sprint Cup race there. Jeffrey Earnhardt drove the No. 83 Toyota in his place at Texas.
NASCAR’s concussion procols requires examination by a board-certified neurologist or neurosurgeon with at least five years of experience in treating sports-related head injuries, but DiBenedetto was unable to undergo such examination between his crash in the Texas Xfinity race and the following day’s Sprint Cup Series race. He has since received clearance from a doctor meeting the minimum requirement