Matt DiBenedetto Gets The Call To Race in SpeedFest 2009 51 Sports PR Report
Up and Comer Will Race For Cup Driver Stremme in One of the Biggest SLM Races All Year
Matt DiBenedetto has been recognized as one of the top up-and-coming teen racecar drivers in recent seasons.  The Hickory, North Carolina, driver has been turning heads in the Late Model Stock Car ranks through the Southeast with great success.

Now the 17-year-old has gotten the call to move up into a Super Late Model.  That call literally came from a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver - and it was for one of the biggest Super Late Model races on the entire calendar.
DiBenedetto will drive the #35 Super Late Model for David Stremme in SpeedFest 2009 at Lanier National Speedway (GA) on January 23rd-25th.

“I'm really excited to drive one of these racecars and see how it handles,” said DiBenedetto.  “David Stremme ended up calling me when I was at school and when I got out of school, I called him back and he told me that he wanted me to drive his car for him.  I was pretty surprised.”

You might think that DiBenedetto might be suffering from a case of stagefright right about now, driving for a big name in a big race, but instead he is calm, cool and collected as the race looms closer.

“Honestly, I must have no fear or something because it doesn't get to me.  I want to hop in the car and do the best that I can, but nothing really gets to me too much.”

DiBenedetto welcomes the fact that his Super Late Model debut will come at SpeedFest, since he will be able to learn from, and measure himself against, some of the greatest Super Late Model drivers in the country right now.  Currently, the entry list for the event includes such big names as Kyle Busch, Jeff Fultz, Ben Rowe, Scott Hantz, Jason Hogan, Justin Drawdy, Michael Pope, Jeremy Colangelo, Brian Campbell, Eddie Hoffman and DJ Shaw.

“This will be neat because there are going to be a lot of good entries,” said DiBenedetto.  “It will be tough because there are a lot of good cars.  Hopefully, I'll adapt to the car real quick.  Everyone has told me that the cars stick to the ground like glue and they are so quick.  It will be awesome to race with some of the great competition that will be there, and I'm very excited about that.”

SpeedFest 2009 weekend will kick off with an open practice day on Friday, January 23rd, at Lanier National Speedway for all Pro and Super Late Model competitors.  More practice and qualifying events for both divisions will take place on Saturday, January 24th, with the 200-lap Super Late Model and the 100-lap Pro Late Model events going green on Sunday, January 25th.
Entry forms for the Super Late Model portion of SpeedFest weekend are currently available on both craracing.net and lanierspeedway.com, as well as Speed51.com, the official website of SpeedFest 2009. 

Entry forms for the Pro Late Model portion of the weekend are available at lanierspeedway.com, as well as Speed51.com

For more information on SpeedFest 2008, be sure to check out speed51.com, craracing.net and lanierspeedway.com.  If you have any questions regarding the event, please call the respective series or track representative.

Matt DiBenetto knows all about winning in a Late Model Stock Car - now he'll see what he can do in David Stremme's Super Late Model.