BK Racing drivers Matt DiBenedetto and David Ragan will not return to the team, it was announced Thursday and Friday.
The two drivers contested the full 2016 season for BKR. DiBenedetto, who drove the #83, #93 and #49 in 2016, had been with the team since 2015, while Ragan spent only one year in the #23. DiBenedetto recorded the team’s best finish that year, a 6th-place at Bristol Motor Speedway in the spring, while Ragan’s best run was 16th at the July Daytona race.
In their final races with BKR at Homestead, DiBenedetto and Ragan finished 27th and 29th, respectively. Ragan finished 33rd in the driver’s standings and DiBenedetto finished 35th.
“BK Racing is in the process of trying to restructure the company,” team owner Ron Devine stated. “Our finishes of 33rd and 35th in the standings did not achieve our goals.”
On Thursday afternoon, DiBenedetto tweeted he and BKR had parted ways. The news of Ragan’s departure were released the following day. DiBenedetto spent his entire Cup career with BKR, while the team was Ragan’s fifth in NASCAR’s premier series since his first full-time season in 2007, after Roush Fenway Racing, Front Row Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. Ragan had signed a one-year contract with BKR for 2016, which Devine elected to not renew.
“I’ve decided to go in a different direction next year,” DiBenedetto’s tweet stated. “Exciting announcements coming soon. It’s been a great ride @BKRacing_2383 Thank you!”
Devine has not announced the two’s replacements for the 2017 premier series season, but expects to continue fielding two cars. The futures of the team’s part-time #93 car, which was driven by Ryan Ellis, Dylan Lupton and DiBenedetto in 2016, and Jeffrey Earnhardt, who drove the #83 in three races and was released by his other team Go FAS Racing earlier in the offseason, have not been revealed.
Featured image courtesy of Jeff Gross and Matt Hazlett, Getty Images