MATT DIBENEDETTO, No. 21 Menards/Tuscany Ford Mustang — POST-RACE INTERVIEW BEFORE PENALTY RULING WAS ANNOUNCED.
WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? “It’s just a crazy finish. I haven’t been able to really process it. I just really want to get this thing in Victory Lane. This Tuscany Faucets team. I feel like this is the same story a lot of times, just heartbreak. My wife and I have had a stressful week again just with the uncertainty — always fighting for my life — but I’m so appreciative of this team. The Wood Brothers, I want this 100th win for the Woods so bad. Our alliance with Team Penske, Ford — I appreciate them putting me in this car. It’s so much fun to drive and have a shot to win. Denny did a great job. Deja vu. Holy cow. Denny deserves all the support in the world. He’s an incredible racer. He was my biggest threat. I tried to block all I could. My spotter, Doug, did a great job. This is tough.”
YOU LED AT THE RESTART. YOU SLAMMED YOUR WAY THROUGH THREE AND FOUR. HOW MUCH MORE COULD YOU HAVE DONE? “It was actually tough to see. My windshield was filthy from all the speedy dry. I was having trouble seeing to block. I was blocking everyone’s lane. I mean, that was pure desperation, but that’s how I drive every race. Every time I step foot in a race car. I’m appreciative for the challenges I’ve faced. That’s what it teaches you when you have those shots. I just want it so bad for my team — Greg Erwin and all these guys. Wild finish. That’s Talladega. I’m glad the fans got a great show. I just hope to win races. I know we can do it.”
YOUR THOUGHTS? “I don’t know. I’m just so close. I’m appreciative to be driving for this team. I want it so bad to put them in Victory Lane, Menards and Tuscany Faucets, and Motorcraft/Quick Lane, Ford, our alliance with Team Penske, Roush Yates, you name it — all of these folks — I just want to do it so bad. It’s so tough to come that close, but it just shows we’re getting better and better as a team, and I just want it so bad. It’s been a tough week, honestly, with the uncertainty and I just pray to continue driving for the Wood Brothers. It’s a dream come true and there’s a lot of people involved that go into the decision-making and I just pray and pray I get to do it. I’m lucky that I got to drive this year racing for wins. Denny Hamlin a couple times now. He did a great job. He’s just a tremendous racer. These are tough to swallow. It’s deja vu.”
— Ford Performance —