By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Despite getting collected in wreck on a restart, Austin Cindric climbed back through the field to finish inside the top-10.
After pitting under caution with eight laps to go, Cindric lined up just inside the top-10 at Road America. His No. 22 Menards / Richmond Ford Mustang narrowly avoided damage when Preston Pardus had a slow launch. In the run down to turn two, Cindric wasn’t so lucky. Myatt Snider spun off into the outside wall. When the Team Penske driver checked-up, he got run into from behind by Justin Allgaier. The right rear damage forced Cindric to pit road for repairs.
With six laps to go, the Mooresville, N.C. native restarted 30th. Over the final six-lap green flag run, Cindric stormed through the NASCAR Xfinity Series field. He quickly rose up the running order at the 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course. In the final two laps he slipped by Brandon Brown, Justin Haley, and Noah Gragson. When the checkered flag waved for the Henry 180, Cindric was eighth.
“It was obviously the strategy to win the race. It is how the 54 won the race,” explained Cindric. “I got a good restart and put a row of guys behind me before I even got to Turn 1 and thought I was in the right spot. The 2 just went off the track and collected a bunch of cars. I had to check up and got a bunch of rear-end damage and caused a tire rub which caused the tire to go down. I had to run on an old tire the rest of the race and still drove from last to wherever we finished. Not ideal, but it could be worse.”
After starting on the outside pole, Cindric finished the first Stage in second. He ended Stage 2 in eighth. In total, the 22-year-old led the field for 10 of the 45 laps.
“You can’t win them all,” admitted Cindric. “Our guys brought a really fast Menards Richmond Ford Mustang. Sometimes it works out for you and sometimes it doesn’t. Today was one of those days. It just wasn’t meant to be. If they gave out an award for cars passed, we would handily have that. I am not sure there is a corner on this car that doesn’t have damage. I appreciate the hard work by everybody. We had a decent points day, and we will move on.”
The eighth-place finish is the 13th top-10 finish for Cindric this season. It is his 76th top-10 in his Xfinity career in just 117 starts.
He is already locked into the playoffs via his four victories this season. Cindric continues to lead the points standings by 89 over A.J. Allmendinger.
Next for Cindric in the Xfinity Series is the Credit Karma Money 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Team Penske driver will also compete in the NASCAR Cup Series in the Jockey Made in America 250 at Road America tomorrow.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by NKP / NKP Photo.