gofas racing

NASCAR America: Matt DiBenedetto grateful for sponsors found via Twitter campaign

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After an eventful Tuesday on social media for Matt DiBenedetto, the GoFas Racing driver met with NASCAR America’s Marty Snider to discuss how effective a call for sponsor help turned out to be.

A video DiBenedetto recorded and posted on Twitter quickly resulted in pledges of $5,000 from fellow Cup drivers Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick, as well as Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip. DiBenedetto told Snider another big name in the sport “silently” chipped in as well.

Late Wednesday, GoFas Racing announced the following supporters for the team this weekend: Zynga Poker, Enlisted Nine Fight Company, Pit Stops for Hope, Denny Hamlin (Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown), Kevin Harvick (KHI Management), and Darrell Waltrip (Waltrip Brothers Charity Championship).

“You never know the power of social media, man, it’s impressed me many times and probably never more than this one,” DiBenedetto said. “It was just an on the fly thing, we didn’t have any plan for it.”

The 26-year-old driver made clear that the team and his job were not in jeopardy, but that it’s very hard for a team to be unsponsored for any race.

“Obviously, a little more came out of it than anticipated,” DiBenedetto said. “It turned into an emotional day for me, to be honest.”

The second-year driver for GoFas Racing was awestruck by the support from Hamlin, Harvick and Waltrip.

“Those are people, dude, that I looked up to since I was a kid watching, those are some of my heroes,” DiBenedetto said. “For them to think that much of me and want me to be a big part of this sport, knowing I’m a young guy … I’m not kidding … I rode home in my truck like in silence because I was just floored.”

Watch the above video for more from DiBenedetto and NASCAR America’s analysts.

Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick offer GoFas Racing financial support for Phoenix race

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Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick are following in the footsteps of Dale Earnhardt Sr. for at least one race weekend.

The two Cup drivers will be financial backers of a competitor in a Cup Series race, something Earnhardt did a handful of times in the late 1980s and early ’90s via his Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet dealership.

Tuesday morning, Matt DiBenedetto took to Twitter to ask his followers to work their social media magic.

DiBenedetto, in his second season driving for the team, made a video requesting help in connecting the team with any businesses who would be interested in being on the car.

DiBenedetto made the plea because the team did not have a primary sponsor for this weekend’s race at ISM Raceway

Within eight minutes, Hamlin announced he would chip in $5,000 to help the team.

DiBenedetto replied that the team could put his face, the Denny Hamlin Foundation logo or “whatever you would like” on the car.

Hamlin later tweeted of DiBenedetto: “Very good driver here that deserves being on the track. Any company would be represented well on his car.”

Soon after that, NASCAR Hall of Famer and Fox Sports analyst Darrell Waltrip offered up another $5,000 through his “Boogity Brands.”

Harvick then followed with another $5,000 from KHI Management.

Who said nothing good ever happened on the Internet?

See how the deal scame together below and check back here to see what else comes of DiBenedetto’s social media Hail Mary.

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Go Fas Racing announces crew chief change

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After only two races in the 2018 Cup season, Go Fas Racing announced Tuesday it has mutually parted ways with crew chief Gene Nead.

In a statement, the team that owns the No. 32 Ford driven by Matt DiBenedetto said Randy Cox will take over crew chief duties.

“Gene had an integral part in building an improved program at Go Fas Racing last season, our most competitive season yet, and we wish him all the best going forward,” the statement said.

Nead had been partnered with DiBenedetto since 2016 when he drove for BK Racing before joining GFR in 2017.

Together they earned two top 10s (Daytona 500, Brickyard 400) and finished 32nd in the standings.

Cox has worked 102 Cup races as crew chief since 2007. Last season he split time leading BK Racing’s No. 23 and No. 83 teams.

DiBenedetto has finishes of 27th (Daytona) and 31st (Atlanta) to start the season.

NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 92: Matt DiBenedetto on making a name for himself

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Go Fas Racing driver Matt DiBenedetto was a recent guest of the NASCAR on NBC podcast, offering why he believes he can become a fan favorite like friend Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“I think I’ve had to go about my whole racing career on such a difficult path and the old school way, it makes me appreciate it way more,” DiBenedetto said on the podcast. “The fans have been a big part of me getting here and getting sponsors and embracing my story. I do appreciate them way more.

“It’s not that hard to just have fun with them. Not knocking anybody, but I look up to someone like Dale Jr. because he’s just genuine, he’s himself. That’s all you really need to do, you don’t need to act like someone different. Just be your normal old self. They’re just people. You don’t need to act like a huge celebrity and just fly by them. All I do is have fun with them, be different, take videos with them. They love that stuff.”

The Grass Valley, California, native is among the more creative and proactive drivers on social media across multiple platforms, including Earnhardt in some of his Snaps.

DiBenedetto believes his savvy will set him apart with more success.

“That’s why I have that vision that I know I can be a fan favorite,” he said. “I’m not going to fill Dale Jr.’s shoes. But I feel like if I’m in a position to win races, and we have that kind of media attention, I feel like I can darn near take over the world because it’s all about being different, and I’m different than other people.”

Earnhardt often jokes with DiBenedetto about the pronunciation of his last name (and had fun with it on his team radio last year, leading to a SiriusXM Satellite Radio clip that DiBenedetto reacts to during the podcast). But the Hendrick Motorsports driver also has been an asset, promoting DiBenedetto as among NASCAR’s most underrated drivers.

“I’ll mess with (Earnhardt), ‘Hey since you think so much of me, go ahead and put me in the 88,’” DiBenedetto joked. “Tony Stewart also has helped me and given me advice. It’s cool to have all these people on your side, so if you need to lean on them for advice or favors or help, that’s not going to hurt in the long run in my career.”

In the podcast, DiBenedetto also discusses:

–His underfunded team’s top 10s in the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400;

–The gamble by his family to relocate to Hickory, North Carolina, to give him a shot at a racing career;

–What life is like on the road for one of the only full-time Cup drivers without a motorhome.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here.

It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

The free subscriptions will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.

NASCAR America: Matt DiBenedetto recalls impressive Bristol performances from last year

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Last year, Matt DiBenedetto provided probably the most memorable sixth-place finish ever in the spring Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Now with Go Fas Racing, DiBenedetto told Marty Snider that he’s just as proud of his performance in the fall race last year.

“I can’t remember were we qualified there, but we ran over something, cut down a tire and lost three laps,” DiBenedetto said. “Drove back from three laps down and finished 17th at the end of the race. We were actually really proud of that.

After telling the story of his homecoming celebration after last years’ spring race, DiBenedetto shares how much thought he’s put into choosing his introduction song for this weekend.