Team Penske NASCAR Xfinity Race Report
Track: ISM Raceway
Race: iK9 Service Dog 200
Date: March 9, 2019
No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 1st (First stage win of 2019)
Stage 2: 6th
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 13
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-28)
Austin Cindric and the No. 22 MoneyLion team put together a solid iK9 Service Dog 200 to finish fifth and claim their first stage win of the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series season Saturday afternoon at ISM Raceway.
The Mooresville, N.C. native started his MoneyLion Ford Mustang from the eighth position and steadily worked his way through the field, and into the top-five. A caution with 13-laps remaining in the first stage saw the leaders pit. Crew chief Brian Wilson kept the driver of the MoneyLion Mustang on track to gain the lead. As the race restarted, Cindric held off a fast-closing Christopher Bell to capture his first stage win of the 2019 season, tallying a valuable playoff point, along with 10-stage points.
After a scheduled pit stop, Cindric would restart the second stage from the 12th position as different strategies played out. The green flag waived on lap 52 to resume the 200-lap event. Cindric quickly flexed the muscle of the MoneyLion Ford Mustang, racing his way to the sixth position before the completion of Stage 2 on lap 90. Cindric pitted on lap 94 for adjustments to aid the handling of his tight racecar, as well as, four tires and fuel.
The 20-year-old driver started the final stent from the sixth position but slipped to eighth over the run. The race would see its last caution on lap 130. The caution gave the team another opportunity for adjustments.
Cindric would restart fifth with 58 laps remaining, where he would remain until the checkered flag.
With the fifth-place finish and stage win, Cindric moved up five positions in driver points, to sixth, 28 markers behind series leader, Tyler Reddick.
Quote: “For me Playoff points are huge, especially moving into the Playoffs. I’ve done NASCAR racing for two years with not a lot of Playoff points in the Playoffs and I can tell you right now it’s not a lot of fun, so getting the Playoff points and building that up throughout the season and really being able to execute a solid day is great. Brian had a great strategy call to keep us out and obviously being able to hold off Bell by a small margin at the end was great for us and then just have a top five day with no issues and no mistakes was nice.”