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SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — Matt DiBenedetto drove his way into the NASCAR Cup Series with meager funding and no glossy racing pedigree. He has spent 4 ½ years circling tracks in the back of the pack, attempting to will his underperforming, underfunded cars to unlikely results.

Every week, DiBenedetto feels like he has to prove his worth anew to a racing world that still seems determined to push him back down. Even 15 races into his tenure with his latest team, he was already hearing whispers about his tenuous future.

But DiBenedetto fought much too hard for this dream to give it up without another fight.

After he raced to fourth place Sunday at

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