By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
Road courses are his forte and on Sunday, Austin Cindric truly proved that.
After earning his career-best starting spot, Cindric battled with the very best the NASCAR Cup Series has to offer. The No. 33 finished fifth and fourth in the stages during Sunday’s race at Circuit of the Americas but tires were the kryptonite for Cindric and his solid run.
— Roush Yates Engines (@roushyates) May 23, 2021
His finishing position failed to translate just how well he ran.
“There’s some fun on the restarts, I gotta say,” Cindric told Kickin’ the Tires. “Some hairy moments on restarts for sure, the visibility thing is definitely the smart call. Especially as it started getting a hard rain, I was spinning the tires in fourth gear in the middle of the back straightaway. Definitely not easy, personally we’ve just struggled to have the tires hold on today and it put us in a bit of a box. Unfortunately, we pitted right before that caution came out and now we’re as far back as we have been all day.”
Pitting before the caution was displayed, which ultimately ended the race, relegated Cindric to a 25th place finish. They had no opportunities to make back the ground they lost, but the NASCAR Cup Series field definitely knew that Austin Cindric was there.
All in all, had fun today. Got to dice it up for the lead and run up front. Pair that with radio problems, tire problems, and pitting right before they called it, and you'll have our race!!
Time to wring out my firesuit 😅
— Austin Cindric (@AustinCindric) May 23, 2021
Many spoke against running in the rain and the hard visibility issues. With his experience running in sports cars though, Cindric joked about what NASCAR seemingly needed to add to the Cup cars next.
“Maybe we need to put mud flaps on NASCAR’s, maybe that’s the next integration.”
Sunday was Cindric’s fifth career start in the NASCAR Cup Series and second on a road course. The 25th place finish is so far his second-to-worst finish in his short career. The sole purpose of having Cindric out running this season is to prepare for his call to the Cup Series in 2022 with Wood Brothers Racing.
As for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, he looks to successfully defend his 2020 championship. Cindric finished fifth in Saturday’s Pit Boss 250. As the series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway, Cindric currently leads both the points and playoff standings with three wins so far this season. In last season’s race at Charlotte, Cindric finished third.
Though it was announced that he’d run a partial schedule in 2021, the next announced race on his schedule is Road America on July 4th. Cindric, so far, has five starts this season with the best finish of 13th in the season-opening Daytona 500.
Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography