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Matt DiBenedetto hopes lightning strikes again at Richmond


during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 22, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia.

Matt Hazlett

Lightning began rolling toward Richmond International Raceway during Friday morning’s Sprint Cup practice.

Matt DiBenedetto can relate. He’s hoping lightning strikes again for him in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at RIR.

DiBenedetto is coming off a career-best sixth-place finish last Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“That was special for the whole team,” DiBenedetto said Friday at RIR. “I think that’s what I was most excited about, not for myself but for my team because we’re like a family.

“We have a really close group here at BK Racing and our whole team works together so well. … When I go into the race shop this week and see them telling stories about the weekend and they’re all smiling and them coming up to me saying, ‘Man, I was crying too, don’t worry.’ It was a really fun weekend and it meant a lot to the team and it’s good momentum.

“If we can continue to take advantage of those good days when we have a good handling car and we hit it right, then we’re going to have a good season. I’m proud of them.”

BK Racing owner Ron Devine concurred.

“You saw it on pit road, we were all so emotional,” he said. “We have a lot of confidence in this guy (DiBenedetto) right here and I say he’s kind of like, ‘my guy,’ because we found each other along the way.

“We were excited to put him in a race car and we kind of took a chance on him, but he deserves it and I think he showed it last week. Think about it, we’ve been out here for five years and that’s our best finish and it was real emotional. … Now that we’ve finally had some success with it, it just felt great.”

It’s been such a whirlwind week for DiBenedetto that, in a sense, he’s hoping to get some rest in his race car this weekend.

“It’s neat to get the media attention again for the team,” DiBenedetto said. “For me, this week was definitely busy. I was on my phone pretty much every hour of the day with back-to-back radio interviews so it was cool.

“My wife may not have liked the lack of spending time together, but it was neat for all of us. She was like, ‘Man, you get to feel popular this week.”

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