UPDATE: Tuesday, November 2, 2021 10:00AM ET
Matt DiBenedetto has confirmed on Instagram that he has deactivated his Twitter account, “due to the division in our world and how bad it is getting.”
Matt DiBenedetto has been bounced from Twitter just as he’s expected to be bounced from the NASCAR Cup Series at season’s end.
The 30-year old driver, who is in the middle of searching for sponsorship and searching for a new ride made an interesting — if not dumb — decision on Monday night. DiBenedetto tried turning Kyle Busch’s mandated sensitivity training, following the use of the R-word after Sunday’s race at Martinsville, into a joke.
In a quote Retweet of a tweet from Bob Pockrass reporting that Busch would be required to complete sensitivity training before the start of the 2022 season, DiBenedetto said, “I feel like living on planet Earth in 2021 is permanent sensitivity training.”
DiBenedetto took massive grief from his comment, but he continued doubling down even sharing a photo of his Quote RT with the caption of, “Trying to bring light hearted humor to our crazy world,” to his Instagram account.
Yeah, I think DiBenedetto’s attempt at landing a joke fell flat. Now, it appears his Twitter account (@MattDRacing), which had more than 140,000 followers is no more. A solid social media presence is kind of key to landing sponsorships these days.
DiBenedetto, a California-native, had become something of a fan favorite in the last few seasons, but it’s felt like there has been a little disconnect this year within his fanbase.
The driver still hasn’t reached victory lane in 316 NASCAR National Series events, which could be part of the reason, but it seems his choice to go all-in on being more openly political has not panned out for his popularity.
DiBenedetto locked himself into the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs a season ago with the Wood Brothers Racing team and finished the season 13th in the championship standings, a career-best.
This season, he failed to make the post-season, but still sits 19th in points with three top-five finishes and nine top-10s.
Will DiBenedetto find a way to remain in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022? That remains to be seen, but negative publicity is not what a driver in his position needs in this situation.