Talladega Lives Up To Its Name: Dibenedetto Snags First NASCAR National Series Win

Talladega Superspeedway is known for its wild racing and unexpected results and last weekend was no exception. In his first year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the No. 25 Rackley WAR Chevrolet, made his first-ever trip to Victory Lane after a race that ended under caution.

DiBenedetto is no rookie to NASCAR, making his first NASCAR national series start in 2009 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at just 17 years old. He went on to run a part-time Xfinity Series schedule from 2009 to 2019, posting 69 starts and two top 10s. He has also posted 248 starts in the Cup Series between 2015 and 2021, scoring nine top fives and 31 top 10s.

In his first stint in the Camping World Truck Series this season, he has posted one win (Talladega), one top five and seven top 10s.

He will have two weeks to soak up his win before heading back to the track at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Although he will be heading to the 1.5-mile track looking to make his first start there in the Truck Series, he has given the track a go several times. In the Cup Series, he has posted seven starts with a best finish of 20th (2014) and in the Xfinity Series, he has made two starts.

Clinch Scenarios: Wide open for the Championship 4 Round

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has one race to go before making it to the Championship 4 Round at Phoenix Raceway and only one driver has clinched his spot: Ty Majeski.

With a two-week break before running at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the last race in the Round of 8, the remaining seven Playoff drivers will have some time to strategize with their teams.

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the four-driver field of the next round: Ty Majeski.

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 4th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Chandler Smith, Zane Smith or Ben Rhodes.

  • Chandler Smith: Would clinch with 26 points
  • Zane Smith: Would clinch with 38 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 52 points
  • Christian Eckes: Could only clinch with help
  • Stewart Friesen: Could only clinch with help
  • John Hunter Nemechek: Could only clinch with help
  • Grant Enfinger: Could only clinch with help

If there is a new winner from Christian Eckes or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 3rd winless driver in the standings.

  • Chandler Smith: Would clinch with 29 points
  • Zane Smith: Would clinch with 41 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Could only clinch with help
  • Christian Eckes: Could only clinch with help
  • Stewart Friesen: Could only clinch with help
  • John Hunter Nemechek: Could only clinch with help
  • Grant Enfinger: Could only clinch with help

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Chandler Smith, Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, Christian Eckes, Stewart Friesen, John Hunter Nemechek, Grant Enfinger,

Playoff Bubble: Eckes, Friesen, Nemechek, Enfinger outside Champ 4 cutline

Looking at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff standings following the second race in the Round of 8 at Talladega Superspeedway, the postseason competitors are tasked with trying to make the Championship 4 Round with just one race to go.

ThorSport Racing’s Ty Majeski won at Bristol in the Round of 8 opener and non-playoff driver Matt DiBenedetto snagged the win last weekend, leaving three spots still up for grabs. Heading into their next Playoff race, Chandler Smith and Zane Smith assume the second and third Playoff positions. Ty Majeski’s ThorSport Racing teammate Ben Rhodes is currently ranked in the fourth and final transfer spot on points to the Championship 4 Round, up only three points on teammate Christian Eckes in fifth. Behind Eckes is Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen in sixth (-3 points below the cutline), then Kyle Busch Motorsports’ John Hunter Nemechek in seventh (-5 points) and GMS Racing’s Grant Enfinger in eighth (-29 points).

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

Hailie Deegan to make Xfinity Series debut at Las Vegas – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Hailie Deegan will be making her NASCAR Xfinity Series debut later this month in the No. 07 Ford with SS Green Light Racing.

“I really just wanted to make my debut, for sure, on a mile-and-a-half because that’s where I feel the most comfortable,” said Deegan. “I wanted to get my feet wet in the Xfinity Series.”

Deegan is in her second full-time season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with David Gilliland Racing. She has posted three top 10s in her 44 starts and finished a career-high sixth last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

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