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NASCAR Cup: Matt DiBenedetto to drive a Toyota for Leavine Family Racing in 2019

CHARLOTTE, NC – JANUARY 24: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series driver Matt DiBenedetto poses for a photo during the NASCAR Media Tour at Charlotte Convention Center on January 23, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


In a press conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Leavine Family racing announced Matt DiBenedetto as the driver of its No. 95 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series entry next season. The racing team also announced a manufacturer change from Chevrolet to Toyota that will include a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Matt to our organization,” Leavine Family Racing owner Bob Leavine said. “We feel that he’s going to be a great addition to the team with his great personality and experience on track within the series. It’s a tremendous feeling to know that we’re also able to announce our alignment with JGR and TRD for next season, as well. Obviously, they’re both first-class organizations and proven winners, so for us to be able to align with them is a huge step for our organization. I’m excited as we continue to work ahead for 2019 thanks to getting Matt as our driver and Toyota as our manufacturer.”

Through the alliance with JGR, Leavine Family Racing will receive cars from Joe Gibbs Racing and engines from Toyota Racing Development.

“Toyota welcomes LFR to our racing family, and we look forward to seeing the No. 95 Camry on track in the 2019 MENCS season,” Toyota Motor North America General Manager for Motorsports Laura Pierce said. “They are a talented and well-run organization with the commitment to improve their competitiveness in this sport. The addition of a driver like Matt DiBenedetto and his enthusiasm and dedication to excelling on the race track will certainly make a positive impact on the team”

DiBenedetto will finish the 2018 season as driver of the No. 32 Go FAS Racing Ford that he has driven the last two seasons. Prior to joining Go FAS Racing, he drove for BK Racing for two years. The 2019 season will be his fifth in the Cup Series. He has four-career top-10 finishes in 134 races. DiBenedetto’s best finish, to date, was a sixth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee in 2016.

“I can only begin to explain how fortunate I am to be joining LFR,” DiBenedetto said. “The thought of being reunited with Toyota and the folks at TRD is just unbelievable for me and my family. This is the biggest opportunity of my life, and it’s a dream come true to be a part of a team that continues to elevate their program at the highest level of NASCAR. No words can describe my gratitude to everyone who believes in me. I’ve had to fight so hard, the old-school way, to get here, and that will always make me appreciate this amazing opportunity. When I got the phone call from Bob and Jeremy (Lange, LFR General Manager), I was speechless. My wife and I both had tears of joy, and it was a very emotional moment that we will always cherish. I look forward to making everyone proud next year, working day and night with my team to show people what we are made of.”

Regan Smith will complete the season in the No. 95 for LFR. Kasey Kahne, who drove the No. 95 through the first 25 races of the year, was supposed to finish the season in the car before retiring from NASCAR competition at the end of 2018. But a health issue ended his season in early September.

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Posted by on October 10, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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