Even before his amazing run at Bristol this past weekend Matt DiBenedetto has been a bit of a talking point to many fans. On one side there is a group of people that believe he is very overrated. And another group that believes he would be a contender if in top equipment. But what chance has he really had. I believe Matt DiBenedetto is like Alex Bowman in a lot of ways more than some people think.

While they had some different career paths into the Cup series today, I am just going to look at their Cup careers. It is without question that both started out in not so great equipment. Bowman being at BK Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing and DiBenedetto running for BK Racing and Go Fas Racing. While Leavine Family Racing isn’t a top-level team, there alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing is starting to show this season.

Alex Bowman 2014 to 2016

Alex Bowman

Alex started his cup career with BK Racing in 2014 and the results where less then stellar. A 13th place finish at Daytona was really the only notable finish he had. For 2015 he moved to Tommy Baldwin racing. The season started on a sour note by missing the Daytona 500. He would however score 3 top 20 finishes along with some other finishes in the 20s. But he was let go from the team before the next season began. And after some Xfinity starts in good equipment, he got the chance to fill in for Dale Jr in 2016 and was impressive in those starts. And when Dale Jr retired after the 2017 season, Alex got the promotion up to the Cup series after being a test driver for the team.

Matt DiBenedetto 2015 to 2018

Matt DiBenedetto

Matt DiBenedetto started his cup career for BK Racing in 2015. He failed to qualify for the first two races for the team. He did score a top 20 at Talladega that season. His breakout race was in 2016 when he finished 6th at Bristol. He scored two more top 20’s that season before announcing a move to Go Fas racing for 2017. He raced there for two seasons and had 11 top 20’s and 3 top 10’s. At the end of the 2018 season he announced that he was a free agent. He signed with Leavine Family Racing for the 2019 season.

The Similarities and the Case for Matt

So we have looked at there early cup careers. Both have had to work very hard to get where they are today. Alex Bowman has been commended for the hard work he had to put in to get to the 88 car. But Matt DiBenedetto is just like Alex Bowman with having to run for lower-level teams for a few seasons and just now had a better opportunity. That opportunity is going away with the impending announcement that Christopher Bell will replace him in the 95 car.

I know that in reality, not everyone is going to have a top tier ride. That just isn’t how it works. But it is apparent to me that Matt deserves better. The alliance with Gibbs and the 95 is just now starting to show. And Matt has been showing that he belongs in this series. Silly season has just begun, so it’s hard to say who will be where next year. But I know a lot of us are hoping that DiBenedetto will stay in the Cup Series in a good car.

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