Cindric finishes third in championship standings

Nigel Kinrade/NKPPhoto

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

HOMESTEAD, Fla.— The shot at winning a driver’s championship in the final race for Brad Keselowski Racing was close, but no cigar for Austin Cindric in the No. 19 Ford.

Cindric started the Ford EcoBoost 200 from the third position. During the first stage, Cindric was battling a loose race car which made it difficult. He was great in the first and second turn, but was dealing with a slip n slide in turns three and four. He finished the stage in the sixth position.

During the pit stop, the team made a chassis adjustment and took four tires and fuel to come out of the pit lane in the third position.

During the this stage, Cindric was able to battle his teammate, Chase Briscoe, for position. On Lap 55, Christopher Bell, fellow championship contender, began to make his moves to pass Cindric. He was unable to match the speed of Bell and gave the position on Lap 60 on the backstretch.

Once Bell past Cindric, he began a slow progression. On Lap 71, Cindric remained close to Bell, but was loose off the fourth turn. That move opened the door for Ryan Truex to pass Cindric for fifth. Cindric finished the second stage in the sixth position.

During the second stage, Cindric was still battling the loose conditions in the turns three and four. The team made additional chassis adjustments to help with the conditions.

As the final stage began, Cindric started on the outside lane from the fourth position, but spun his tires dropping him back from position. Cindric dropped back to the fourth position. Ultimately, he finished in the fifth position.

“We had short-run speed better than anybody else.  If we would have gotten a restart there, it would have been a lot of fun.  We wish we could have brought home a championship on Ford Championship Weekend, but I’m over the moon for the guys on the 29 at BKR.  This is their last race.  This is going out in style.  I’m pumped for Chase.  He deserves this.  He’s worked hard all year and he’s got a few second-place finishes,” said Cindric.

Throughout the race, Cindric was running the bottom and middle grooves of the track. With about 10 laps remaining in the race, Cindric worked his way towards the high side. He was able to use that high line to pass Matt

“I wasn’t gonna try running the fence until about 10 to go there and started making it work.  I got around Crafton with a slide job on the last corner for third in the championship, so I’m really pumped about that,” Cindric stated.

With Brad Keselowski Racing shutting its doors, the win by Briscoe and a shot at a championship was a dream way to finish it for the organization.

“I’m over the moon for the guys at BKR.  To get Chase a win after so many seconds he’s had this year, it’s a dream way to finish it out.  Obviously, we wanted the championship, but we’ve come a long way in not a long time, so I’m proud of the effort and proud of how far we’ve come and I’m looking forward to the future.”

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