DiBenedetto Previews New ROVAL™ Chicane
DiBenedetto Shakes Down Upgraded ROVAL™ Backstretch Chicane
NASCAR driver Matt DiBenedetto tested out Charlotte Motor Speedway's new ROVAL™ backstretch chicane aboard a Toyota Camry XSE pace car on Tuesday; The stars of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will tackle the 19-turn, 2.28-mile ROVAL™ in the second running of the Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 on Sept. 29
-- For Immediate Release -- CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 3, 2019)– Matt DiBenedetto got some much-needed seat time aboard a Toyota Camry XSE pace car on Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With only 26 days to go before the second Bank of America ROVAL™ 400, DiBenedetto became the first NASCAR driver to shake down Charlotte's new ROVAL™ backstretch chicane
DiBenedetto joined Greg Walter, the speedway's executive vice president and general manager, for some hot laps around the 19-turn, 2.28-mile road course oval that serves as the cutoff race for Round 1 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
"I was just excited to check it out and be able to give some input on it," DiBenedetto said. "This one being on a full straightaway is what will create a really hard, straight-line braking zone. It's going to create an extra passing zone from what we had. It's definitely going to be be more of a challenge – I'm guessing you'll be going 30 miles per hour slower – so it's a drastic change, but it's better for the race.
"This will create a different opportunity that will change the outcome approaching the last corner of the track. Last year, this wasn't a passing zone. It was a momentum corner. This year, it's hard braking and it'll feel like a parking lot. … It's not just a small change. It affects our racing and our approach."
In addition to the time he spent on the track, DiBenedetto gave Walter real-time feedback regarding the newest wrinkle to the first-of-its-kind ROVAL™.
"As we were approaching the entrance to the chicane, Matt leans to me and says, 'Oh yeah, this is going to make a difference,'" Walter said. "Braking equals passing. He confirmed everything we've been thinking about and what we've been designing. We're going to see a great race."
TICKETS: To purchase tickets to the Sept. 27-29 Bank of America ROVAL™ 400, fans can call the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
MORE INFO: Fans can connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway and get the latest news by following on Twitter and Instagram, becoming a Facebook fan or downloading the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.
NASCAR driver Matt DiBenedetto shook down Charlotte Motor Speedway's new ROVAL™ backstretch chicane in a Toyota Camry XSE pace car. (RIS Photo by John Davison)
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.