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What’s Next for Matt DiBenedetto and Trevor Bayne?

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Joe Gibbs Racing announced their 2024 driver lineup on Wednesday, and two drivers were left out, Trevor Bayne and Matt DiBenedetto. Dibenedetto may not have been a surprise to many, but Trevor Bayne may have been. What is next for potentially the two top free agents left in NASCAR Silly Season?

  • Matt DiBenedetto spent the 2023 season with Rackley W.A.R. in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, while Bayne drove part-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series. Neither driver will return to their 2023 teams in 2024.
  • With Joe Gibbs Racing’s seats taken up, there are very few seats left in Silly Season. There are even fewer that will likely contend for Wins and Championships.
  • Fans are always curious about where these two will end up. Many fans hoped Trevor Bayne would end up at Gibbs, and DiBenedetto has a loyal fanbase that is waiting on his 2024 plans.

Matt DiBenedetto

Long story short, he is looking for sponsorship. Because of this search, he was likely never a serious candidate for either JGR Xfinity Series ride to begin with.

He also had an ugly exit from Rackley W.A.R., and it’s not the first time he’s had an ugly exit from a race team. He left Go Fas after the 2018 season, and that was not a rosy divorce. When it was announced he would not return to The Wood Brothers following the 2021 season, DiBenedetto blurted his feelings out in a now-deleted social media post. That did not go over well with many.

Fast forward to 2023. After taking Rackley WAR to their first win in 2022 and the Playoffs in 2023, DiBenedetto was released from his contract 3 races early. We do not know exactly what happened at Rackley, but, it’s yet another ugly exit. This is a pattern and not a good one.

Trevor Bayne

Trevor Bayne has made a slow return to NASCAR after leaving RFK Racing, then Roush-Fenway Racing, in 2018. He’s run a few Truck Series races for Niece and Rackley W.A.R., and he’s spent some time in the Xfinity Series with Joe Gibbs.

Bayne seems to have few leads on a 2024 ride, but, many are left thinking what could have been with Bayne. He told RACER Magazine’s Kelly Crandall that he expected to be full-time with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2023, but the sponsor backed out last minute. Once again, in 2024, Bayne is left out of a full-time ride.

Bayne also mentioned to Crandall in that article that he is enjoying broadcasting. He said, “I love them both. But you have to decide at some point where’s your future at, I guess.” Maybe Bayne will make the move to broadcasting in the near future should racing not work out.

What Rides Are Available?

The amount of available seats in NASCAR in 2024 is getting smaller and smaller by the day. Even fewer seats are true race-winning contenders week after week.

In the Xfinity Series, aside from maybe a part-time ride at Kaulig Racing, the best seats left are Sam Hunt Racing, maybe AM Racing, and B.J. McLeod Motorsports. None of those teams won a race last year.

In the Truck Series, Hattori Racing Enterprises has an open seat, but they failed to win in 2023. Rackley W.A.R. is open, but DiBenedetto is not going there. Front Row Motorsports is open as well, but, Brett Moffitt seems like the easiest choice at the moment.

In the Cup Series, the SHR 10 car seems destined for Noah Gragson, for now. The second Rick Ware Racing car is another winless car, and the second Kaulig Racing car will take a lot of sponsorship.

Bayne may slot in at a place like Rackley W.A.R. He raced for the team at Homestead after all. That may be the best ride he lands, but, it could be a full-time ride.

DiBenedetto is tougher to predict. He may have been in talks with race teams, but, those teams could be waiting on sponsorship. Either way, with Rackley W.A.R. out of the picture, he likely won’t be in equipment that won a race in 2023.

Both of these drivers have uncertain futures. We may have to wait deep into the offseason for either driver to announce their 2024 plans. What is their most likely destination?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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