After surviving a frantic last-lap collision and a NASCAR review, Matt DiBenedetto was eventually declared the victor of Saturday’s Truck Series race at Talladega.
Deliberately bringing out the late caution, for which Carson Hocevar was fined, forced a two-lap overtime with Christian Eckes leading and DiBenedetto in third.
Corey Heim smashed into the outside wall and cut back down the track on the penultimate lap as the pack came off Turn 4 and into the tri-oval, causing a serious collision.
Just as DiBenedetto, Ben Rhodes, and Bret Holmes were fighting for the lead, NASCAR instantly called for a caution.
Holmes was the first to the finish line, but when a caution is issued, the field stops moving. After conducting an investigation, NASCAR determined DiBenedetto was in the lead when the caution came out, declaring him the victor.
DiBenedetto, who has made a total of 338 starts in Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks, achieves his first-ever NASCAR national series victory. Additionally, it is the Rackley WAR team’s first victory.
“Oh man, it’s been such a long time coming. Praise God,” DiBenedetto said. “My fans are so thankful. They have stayed with me through so much with me being a reckless human being sometimes through life.
“I’m so thankful to do this. I’m so grateful. I got worn out from having to wait to hear what happened.
“My spotter Doug Campbell is awesome. We work together so good. I owe a lot to him. At the end there, we were just really committed to staying on the bottom (lane) and pushing. This team deserves it.”
The final standings were Rhodes in second, Holmes in third, Ryan Preece in fourth, and Eckes in fifth.
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Matt DiBenedetto, Christian Eckes, Ben Rhodes, Truck Series, IndyCar, Nascar, NASCAR Cup Series, Talladega Superspeedway, Xfinity