Most disappointing teams of 2022: No. 2 – Wood Brothers Racing
Perhaps Matt DiBenedetto’s relatively mediocre performance in two seasons behind the wheel of the #21 Ford at Wood Brothers Racing will be looked at slightly differently now by critics, given Harrison Burton’s not-so-stellar run to start his Cup Series career.
The 2022 season has been a disaster for the Team Penske-affiliated team, with the rookie Burton having replaced DiBenedetto. The 21-year-old Huntersville, North Carolina native has yet to finish a race in the top 10, and he sits in 28th place in the point standings.
If not for Brad Keselowski’s 100-point penalty, Burton would sit in 29th place. In terms of full-time drivers, he is ahead of Front Row Motorsports rookie Todd Gilliland, Spire Motorsports’ Corey LaJoie, and Rick Ware Racing’s Cody Ware.
It’s not a stretch to say that any driver in relatively decent equipment should be ahead of those three drivers in the point standings at the very least.
Meanwhile, DiBenedetto’s worse finish in the standings in two seasons behind the wheel of the #21 Ford was 18th place, and in the other season, he qualified for the playoffs on points and finished in 13th. His worse single-season average finish was 16.9. Burton has only finished higher than 16.9 on three occasions in his first 18 starts.
Unless Burton improves over the second half of his rookie season, the start of the Gen 7 era will be seen as a new low for the Wood Brothers as they eye their first win in over five years — a win that would be their 100th.