Matt DiBenedetto was out of the Martinsville race last week after just 187 laps, so he watched the dramatic finish as a fan, he said Saturday during a media session.
“That was the most exciting race I’ve ever watched,” DiBenedetto said.
But the GoFas Racing driver couldn’t help but wonder what he would have done in a similar situation as Denny Hamlin or Chase Elliott.
DiBenedetto said he didn’t have a problem with what Hamlin did because “it wasn’t intentional” and the Joe Gibbs Racing driver was trying to do a big bump-and-run that went bad.
He certainly wouldn’t have apologized in Hamlin’s situation.
“There’s no way in hell I would apologize for that,” DiBenedetto said. “You don’t want to wreck anyone, but that’s the situation you’re forced into. Winning is everything and finishing second doesn’t matter.
“I’d do everything in the world. I’d move my grandmother out of the way on the last lap to have a chance at winning the championship. I’d be like, ‘I hate I wrecked him. I didn’t want to do that. But yeah, I was trying to move him out of the way. We’re racing at Martinsville and I want to go to the championship.'”
On the other hand, even though he said Hamlin didn’t have anything to apologize for, DiBenedetto said he likely would have gotten physical out of pure anger with the situation.
“From Chase’s standpoint…I would be so angry, just out of passion and caring that I would probably lose my mind,” he said. “From an outsider’s perspective, props to him for being so calm, but as a fan, I wanted to see him get out and just be so angry that I don’t care if he shoved him. I was heated just watching it.
“Not that Denny did anything wrong, but if it were me, I probably would have gotten physical in some sort of way — just because I wouldn’t have been able to help it. Your guys work so hard all day every single day for you to have a shot at winning. For it to be taken away, I’d be mad.”
“But that’s my take as a total race fan,” he said.