Matt DiBenedetto 2022 team

Matt DiBenedetto gets a brutal assessment from Steve Letarte and Chad Knaus

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Steve Letarte and Chad Knaus believe that Matt DiBenedetto didn’t do enough to be retained by Wood Brothers Racing.

It has been confirmed that DiBenedetto will not return to Wood Brothers Racing for the 2022 Cup Series season. In the aftermath of the news and after the ninth-place finish in Atlanta, the current No. 21 driver posted a nine-minute video on Facebook, in which he said:

“I’m going to be super honest. I’m not going to try and hide how I feel and what I feel. You guys know what you see is what you get. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Found out yesterday. When I found out, I tried to be like OK, been through this before. How do I handle this? I know God has a plan for me. There’s a greater plan.

“But you know what? I didn’t really sleep last night, and I thought about it and it’s OK to have human emotion, and I’m not going to lie to you; it’s OK to be pissed off, angry and bitter and all of the above. It just is what it is. We’re humans. We’re not perfect.”

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While he is a likable character, but without any wins, NASCAR can be a very harsh business and DiBenedetto has faced it now. Former crew chiefs Letarte and Knaus discussed DiBenedetto’s position and both agreed that he has not done enough to secure his place at the team.

“I love Matty D. He’s a nice guy, but the problem that Matt has is this is professional sports. This isn’t intramural football,” Letarte said. “And I’ll be the cold guy that says it that winners get hired. And he’s had a chance to win a couple of races and he’s yet to come through… It’s tough. He doesn’t have a lot of sponsors behind him. I can’t think of a brand that’s just backing Matty D. I’m sure some seats will open up in the garage area, but I don’t see it being a seat near as good as the 21 car.”

Knaus pointed out that DiBenedetto should look at Kurt Busch for inspiration despite his loss of ride.

“Kurt Busch did the exact same thing,” Knaus pointed out. “Sometimes, you just have to take a step back to take a step forward. But that No. 21 car for him was a really good opportunity. Unfortunately for Matt, he just didn’t perform at the level that he needed to.”

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20 thoughts on “Matt DiBenedetto gets a brutal assessment from Steve Letarte and Chad Knaus”

  1. I hear what Letarte and Knaus says about Matt’s D not being a winner, so he loses his ride. Then again I look at Bubba Wallace, he is ina car with sponsors and great equipment, and not a winner!!! He has his ride because of his race (black), so is this fair???

    1. I do get what your saying but he is in his first year with the team. He will be treated just like Matt D if he can’t produce when his contract is up.

    2. It does my heart good to see the 23 car fail week after week. Karma has come back to bite them, after the R motivated garage “noose” claim. Trying too get a C class driver like Wallace promoted because of the color of his S, is truly R.

    3. Nope, you missed the important part here. Matt doesn’t have sponsors. He doesn’t bring money to the table like Bubba. Danica would still land a ride if she wanted because the money she brought. Matt has to rely on talent.

  2. I like Matt D. He’s got the most promise since Mark Martin. The 21 team has been a third tier season for a lot of years. I was actually disappointed when he signed with them. He could do so much better. I know it’s not signed yet. But Please, Please, Matt D.Get a deal for next year,one that will put you in victory lane. That is where you need to be. You’ve earned it and deserve it.

    1. No one deserves anyone, every day the rent is due in real life. In real life, come real tough decisions that must be made. This is life, life goes on with or without you.

  3. When you are leading at Bristol, your job into keep Hamlin behind you. It’s my opinion that if he had won that race, he would be in a better position right now, and a better car. Sponsors want winners or front runners. We are fans of Matt D., but not as a driver, but as a person.

  4. Matt , is better than this he can only do as good as the equipment provided to him the Wood Bros have been lacking for yrs long before Matt signed with them . There’s 4 teams right now the rest are fill ins they get the big sponsors the corporate dollars and these other teams are being priced out.
    It’s not this drivers fault people should point the fingers at Ford they cater to Penske , Roush ,Haas and they have to trust these teams will work with them in development . It’s clear who’s getting the funding.

  5. He has about 14 races left to post a win or two and he has a crew chief in Johnathan Hassler who is showing he can put him there and pit crew who are showing they have the skill to put Matt in the place to win. It is his turn to finally show he can post a win or the whole topic means nothing because he is not the driver for a top level Nascar team. Put up or Shut up

    1. So true Jeff G. or J.J. Wouldn’t have won like they did without good rides especially the 21 car one race wonder for years Daytona then just ride around the back

  6. People comparing this situation to Bubba and Danica are missing a big point Steve made… he also said Matt didn’t have sponsors… You can keep racing without winning if you have sponsors. Danica and Bubba had/have HUGE sponsor money. If/when they fail to perform, as soon as the sponsor money slows, they are gone. Plain and simple… Matt does not have the sponsor money and does not have the on-track results. Plain and simple business move.

  7. I really like Matt as a person and driver. I also have liked and followed the Woods all my life, I live near their first years shops. However, the Woods cars have not been up to par for many years. I feel Matt has done a great job with what he has had to work with. I hope and pray Matt gets a top ride and the Woods get better equipment, or should I say Penske gives them better cars! But we all know money and politics plays the biggest role in racing anymore!

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