DiBenedetto found himself in a great position when a timely caution during green-flag pit stops put him at the front of the field.
Unfortunately, he was unable to capitalize as he lost the lead to Kurt Busch on a Lap 242 restart and spent the rest of the race trying to snatch it back. But Busch had an advantage beyond being a seasoned veteran.
Restarts the key
A different gear ratio on the Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Camaro allowed busch to get a better jump on restarts as he was in first gear while DiBenedetto was bogged down in second.
“Yeah, you know, once we lost control, when we had the lead and we chose the outside and we lost control of the lead, he got a good push and it got him the lead,” said DiBenedetto. “I was like, oh, man, that was tough, because I knew the remaining restarts he had a really big advantage on us as far as our differences in gear ratios, and he knew ‑‑ Kurt is a smart guy. He’s a veteran, and I knew he was going to play his strengths to his advantage and do the right things on the restarts to maximize his deal.
“That hurt us and it made it tough for the rest of the race. I know my teammate Ryan Blaney tried to push me on that last one, so I appreciate that, but we had a car if it was out in clean air, we definitely could have won the thing. I’m just proud…