Richmond retaliation riles up Preece, giraffe-costumed DiBenedetto

Short-track tempers flared Sunday at virtual Richmond Raceway, but thankfully Ryan Preece and Matt DiBenedetto were — presumably — able to joke after the latest round of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series.

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Preece won the pole and led the opening 59 laps of the Toyota Owners 150 presented by Toyota, but his No. 37 Chevrolet faded in the running order and made contact with Matt DiBenedetto’s No. 21 Ford in Turn 1. That prompted the race’s fourth caution period at Lap 99.

Their dispute over running room spilled over into further collisions later, with DiBenedetto taking the worst of it. DiBenedetto then lurked to make more contact before race officials opted to park him for the remainder of the event.

It was quite the turn for the 28-year-old DiBenedetto, who donned a giraffe costume for a light-hearted pre-race picture. Preece didn’t let him forget it after their mid-race joust.

DiBenedetto gave a more detailed account of his grievances in a post-race recap, delivered while still wearing his giraffe onesie.