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Matt DiBenedetto ended the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season in a cloud of controversy. After saying “Let’s Go Brandon” in a short video for a conservative media outlet before qualifying in Phoenix on Saturday, the 30-year-old driver raced for the final time in the No. 21 Wood Brothers car on Sunday. 

On Monday, the now free-agent driver posted a cryptic video message on social media where he repeated multiple times how he was feeling guilty. However, at no point in the almost four-minute video did he indicate his source of guilt and never apologized for anything.  

Matt DiBenedetto says ‘Let’s go Brandon’ to conservative media outlet in Phoenix

A day after NASCAR President Steve Phelps denounced the use of “Let’s Go Brandon,” a euphemism for swearing at President Joe Biden that was born at a NASCAR race, Matt DiBenedetto went out of his way to utter the phrase on a video recorded for a conservative media outlet.   

At the conclusion of the video, the driver explains why he said it. 

“Got to fight for God, country, and freedom, that’s why,” he said. 

DiBenedetto shared the video on his Instagram account and addressed it further. 

“It’s a movement that’s for sure…had a blast with my friend @bennyjohnson today!” he wrote. “Was proud to talk about fighting for our country and appreciating our military heroes who serve to defend our freedom.”

Guilt-filled Matt DiBenedetto posts video with cryptic message 

On Monday, a day after racing for the last time in the Wood Brothers No. 21 car, DiBenedetto posted another much longer video to social media. The theme of this message was the free-agent driver’s feelings of guilt, a word he mentions five times during the almost four-minute video. 

“So, this will be the most guilt-filled video that I’ll ever do and rightfully so,” DiBenedetto opened. “And I’m just going to get them out. Pull the band-aid basically. The Wood brothers have always told me, ‘Hey, be Richard Petty.’ Because he has so much respect. He carries himself so well. He’s a role model, an idol of mine.

“This weekend — I’ve had a horrendous last couple of weeks, which is no excuse, and I let my anger for things going on worldly and all that get the best of me. Basically, I was guilted for that thinking about that part about what the Wood brothers always told me.”

The driver, who has regularly spoken about his faith, said God made him feel the most guilty. 

“Above all that I had the most guilt laid on me that I’ve ever had laid on me in my entire life,” he admitted. “That was from the big man upstairs. It was basically as if he said, ‘Congratulations Matt, you had an opportunity this weekend to take all those emotions and feelings you have for what you’re passionate about and spread a good message through Christ-like character — goodness, kindness, and also fighting for freedom and individual liberty for everybody. People that are completely opposed to me and not.

“I knew that’s what I was supposed to do. And, I acted out of raw emotion and anger, and all of the things that a lot of people feel these days. And, it’s not right. It wasn’t the way to do it. I went against everything that I,” he paused. “Again, I passionately believe in those things. But, I don’t live it the right way then shame on me.”

Latest video continues a pattern of confusing behavior in last month

Near the end of the video, DiBenedetto said he deserves “whatever loss of respect that I get from some people.” However, never at any point during the message does he specifically identify the people who might have lost respect for him. Fans? Sponsors? Other drivers?

And that’s not all. In the entire video, not once does he actually apologize or specifically identify the source of his guilt and whether or not it’s a result of what he said or his general support of the euphemism. 

The confusing message unsurprisingly falls right in line with DiBenedetto’s actions in recent weeks. In that time, he suggested he wanted to race for a team next season that would allow him to be “authentic” and talk about things he cares about, specifically his faith and the military. He mocked people’s feelings and the way people identify. And he deactivated his Twitter account because of people attacking each other. (He has since reactivated it.) 

At the conclusion of his message, DiBenedetto did get one thing right when he said, “I have to be better.” He does. Unfortunately for him, it may be too late and his future in NASCAR could be in serious jeopardy. 

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