NASCAR

Matt DiBenedetto joins Go FAS Racing’s #32 car for 2017

Matt DiBenedetto will drive the #32 Ford Fusion full-time for Go FAS Racing in 2017, the team announced Thursday.

DiBenedetto enters the 2017 NASCAR premier series season with 68 career starts, all for BK Racing. He, along with teammate David Ragan, left the team last week.

“I am very excited to join Go FAS Racing for the 2017 season,” DiBenedetto stated. “We have a great group of people that I am very excited to work with this season. I am thankful for the opportunity and I look forward to representing the team and sponsors to the best of my ability.”

In 2016, DiBenedetto recorded his and BK Racing’s best finish of 6th at Bristol in the spring. That year, Go FAS fielded the #32 for multiple drivers, including Bobby Labonte, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Joey Gase, Patrick Carpentier, Boris Said, Jeb Burton, Eddie MacDonald and Dylan Lupton. Labonte recorded the team’s best finish of the year with a 19th-place run at the spring Talladega race. The #32 finished the season 38th in the owners championship.

Can-Am, which sponsored the #32 for 25 races in 2016, will return to the team in 2017. The BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) motorcycle manufacturer will sponsor the #32 for at least 11 races in 2017. The team’s other primary sponsors, Keen Parts, CorvetteParts.net and Donate for Life, have not announced their 2017 plans.

Go FAS also announced they had sold the #32’s charter to the #21 of Wood Brothers Racing, which guarantees the #21, currently driven by Ryan Blaney, a spot in the 40-car field for all 36 races. In turn, Go FAS acquired the charter of Richard Petty Motorsports’ #44 car, which was driven by Brian Scott until his retirement at the end of the 2016 season. Go FAS also bought six cars from RPM, indicating the possibility of the fellow Ford team scaling back to a one-car operation.

With the hiring of DiBenedetto to run the full schedule, it marks the first time Go FAS will not field the car for multiple drivers since the team’s first season in 2014.

“(Team manager) Mason and I couldn’t be happier to have Matt joining us here here at GFR,” team owner Archie St. Hillaire commented. “This will be our first season in the premier series with one driver running the complete season for us. We believe Matt’s driving ability and a fleet of newer race equipment purchased this offseason will elevate our program to new levels in 2017.”

Go FAS Racing was formed as the result of a merger between Frank Stoddard’s FAS Lane Racing and St. Hillaire’s Go Green Racing in 2014. FAS Lane fielded the #32 from 2011 to 2013, while Go Green was a Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series team that ran from 2009 to 2013. Go Green also fielded a part-time car, the #79, in the premier series (then Sprint Cup Series) in 2012.

Featured image courtesy of Brett Moist / NKP

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