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Matt DiBenedetto Back With Wood Brothers for 1 Year

Matt DiBenedetto will return to drive the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford next year in the NASCAR Cup Series, the team announced today, Oct. 8.

It will be his second season driving for the team in the Cup Series.

The team will continue its alliance with Team Penske, along with support from its manufacturer Ford.

“It’s such an honor to be able to continue to drive for Wood Brothers Racing and have another year to grow with this organization,” DiBenedetto said in a team release. “I am excited to learn from our 2020 notebook and I’m confident that with a full season under our belt and working together as a team, we will produce even better results. I also want to thank Ford Performance and Team Penske for their efforts in making this happen.

“These types of decisions take a lot of time, as we all know there are a lot of factors in play. All three groups want to make the best decisions for everyone involved and I’m appreciative to have the opportunity to continue to compete for such a legendary race team.”

“Matt has been able to find success this year under very difficult circumstances,”  team president and co-owner Eddie Wood said. “Since he joined our team, he only had limited time working with our group due to the pandemic. While it’s been an entirely new organization, he found a way to consistently run upfront and make the Playoffs. We have learned a lot together this year and we look forward to continuing to build with Matt in 2021.”

The 29-year-old DiBenedetto made the playoffs this season but was eliminated after the Round of 16. He currently has three top fives and eight top 10s, with a season-best finish of second in both races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Overall, DiBenedetto has made 207 starts in the Cup Series, with six top fives and 19 top-10 finishes. In addition to his two runner-up finishes this year, he also finished second in the 2019 Bass Pro Shops / NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

DiBenedetto will drive the No. 21 Ford in 2021, and then Austin Cindric will succeed him in 2022, Team Penske also announced Oct. 8.

About the author

Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.

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Jill P

Great news! He certainly earned another year. Hope he can get that 100th win for Wood Brothers soon and a great ride in 2022!


great news!! i feel he’ll get his first win with the team.


That might depend on NA$CAR’s interpretation of the yellow line rule.


At least he has time to look for another ride for 2022.

Bill B

Well this news makes me happy.
Thanks Wood Bros.
Good luck Matt.


Won’t be surprised if DiBenedetto replaces Ryan Newman in the 6 after 2021. If Kyle Larson does not end up in the 14, I suspect Chase Briscoe will end up in that ride. If that comes to be, the path to the 6 will be pretty clear for DiBenedetto.

Will Cindric be in a part-time Penske car or might he run some races with Go FAS? If Go FAS, that might allow Bowyer one more year in the 14 before Briscoe moves into it (hypothetically).


Glad to see the young man staying with the Wood bros. You need at least 2 years at a team to settle in imo. Good luck to Matt!


Of course, we have to remember that Brad Keselowski is on a one-year contract extension. Should he leave Penske after next season, Cindric can drive the #2 car in 2022 while DiBenedetto could stay in the #21 if he has another good year.


If Brad makes it to the final four, remember, he has an exceptional car waiting for him in the championship race.

Bill B

Is that a joke? Is that something he claimed in an interview?
It’s kind of hard to know a car is “exceptional” before you turn a lap on the track. And,,, if it’s that exceptional wouldn’t he use it to ensure he makes it to the final four if he needs a win in that final round?

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