Matt DiBenedetto is going to be one and done with Leavine Family Racing.
DiBenedetto won’t be returning to the No. 95 car in 2020. That likely paves the way for Xfinity Series standout Christopher Bell to make the move to the Cup Series in 2020.
LFR moved from Chevy to Toyota after the 2018 season and was in need of a driver after Kasey Kahne stepped aside during last season. And DiBenedetto was in need of a ride after he left the No. 32 team of GoFas Racing.
So the fit made sense. But clearly only in the short term. Bell is in his third season of driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series and has won 13 races in 62 career starts. And with LFR now in a technical alliance with JGR on the Cup side of things and JGR’s Cup lineup of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr. set for the foreseeable future, the No. 95 car is reportedly where Bell will be. The Athletic said Thursday afternoon that Bell will join the team in 2020 as Jones’ contract extension with the team is only for one more season.
DiBenedetto’s departure also comes after a career-best season too. He’s currently 23rd in the points standings, six spots higher than he was last year and five spots higher than where Kahne was in the No. 95 at this point in 2018.
DiBenedetto has also scored the first two top-five finishes of his career in 2019. He was fourth at Sonoma and fifth at New Hampshire. Those two top finishes are half of Leavine Family Racing’s total of top fives in over 200 races since 2011.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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