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Matt DiBenedetto Joining Viking Motorsports for Multiple Xfinity Races

Matt DiBenedetto will drive Viking Motorsports’ No. 38 NASCAR Xfinity Series car for at least five races, starting at Richmond Raceway on March 30, DiBenedetto and Don Sackett — the owner of Viking and the CEO of SciAps Inc. — confirms to Frontstretch.

Richmond will mark DiBenedetto’s first taste of NASCAR racing in 2024, as he began the season on the sidelines and without a ride. It will also mark his first start in the Xfinity Series since 2019.

“After starting 2024 with no ride, it has been an interesting test of faith,” DiBenedetto tells Frontstretch. “Although I have some business and things outside of racing, it doesn’t fill the void of racing in NASCAR. This opportunity with Viking and the No. 38 team not only excited the heck out of me for the sake of getting back behind the wheel, but also because I can sense the passion and commitment to the sport from Don and the whole group.

“I’m an all-in kind of guy, so I instantly clicked with Don and the team, and I look forward to helping build the team and relationship for the future.”

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The news comes after the No. 38, fielded in collaboration with RSS Racing, failed to qualify for two of the first four races of the season with CJ McLaughlin behind the wheel.

“We started the season with CJ, but he had trouble qualifying two of the four races, so we had to make a change,” Sackett says. “And it turned out that Matt DiBenedetto was available, and we called him up. He wanted to get back into racing, he didn’t have anything lined up. So we decided to try to work together the rest of the season with him.”

Sackett says the plan for the No. 38 team is to run the majority of the remaining 29 races on the Xfinity schedule.

“It’s all the races after Richmond and later with the exceptions of the road courses and the two Darlington [Raceway] races,” Sackett says. “If we could find some sponsor money, we would probably do the Darlington races, so that’s more of a money question. And the road courses, we’re just not set up for that yet. We’re running a part-time season just to try things out this year before going in big next year.”

The hope is for DiBenedetto to run all of those races, but at the moment, he has an agreement to run at least the next five ovals on the schedule.

“We decided to do five races together, which is Richmond, Martinsville [Speedway], Texas [Motor Speedway], Talladega [Superspeedway] and Dover [Motor Speedway] – those five,” Sackett says. “And we have every intention of continuing, but who knows. When you’re a [NASCAR] Cup [Series] guy, they may see you out there and may give you a better offer. You know, anything could happen. I understand [DiBenedetto] may get a better deal when he’s out racing, and I don’t want to hold him back.

“But our hope is that he goes the whole season with us. And maybe if he wants to stay in Xfinity and become a partner in a racing team, and maybe make it a long-term thing, if that’s something that interests him.”

Viking has used the RSS No. 38 font, and Sackett’s company SciAps is sponsoring Ryan Sieg for the full Xfinity season. He went into the further detail about the relationship Viking has with RSS.

“They’re providing the crew, the hauler, the pit crew contract,” Sackett explains. “We’re providing the car, we’re leasing engines from Roush [-Yates Engines]. We’re bringing the spotter, and we share the purse money. The car No. 38, the number belongs to the Siegs.

“If we continue next season together, we will probably buy into the same technical partnership with Stewart-Haas [Racing]. And hopefully, we’ll continue to work with the Siegs. That would be the idea if things worked out.”

The team has prominently featured its logo on the hood and quarter panels of the No. 38 car in the first four races, and Sackett is still searching for outside partners.

“We’re looking for outside sponsors, and we’ve kept Viking just to try to get the name of the brand out there,” Sackett says. “Obviously with Matt joining, I think that’s going to be a big help. He’s got a lot of following; he’s got a lot of potential contacts with sponsor opportunities as well. So, we’re looking for outside sponsors, and we’ll hopefully find some.”

DiBenedetto ran the majority of the 2023 NASCAR season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with Rackley WAR. He scored two top fives and 12 top 10s with the team before leaving after 20 races.

DiBenedetto will make his debut with the team in the Toyota Care 250 at Richmond on March 30. The race will start at 1:30 p.m. ET, with TV coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.

About the author

Stephen Stumpf is the NASCAR Content Director for Frontstretch, and his weekly columns include “Stat Sheet” and “4 Burning Questions.” Stephen also writes commentary, contributes weekly to the “Bringing the Heat” podcast and is frequently at the track for on-site coverage. A native of Texas, Stephen began following NASCAR at age 9 after attending his first race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Follow on Twitter @stephen_stumpf.

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3 Comments
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Drew

It’s about time

RCFX1

Good for him!

Sandescaper

Great to see Matty D behind the wheel!

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