Team Penske NASCAR Xfinity Race Report
Track: Pocono Raceway
Race: Pocono Green 250
Date: June 1, 2019
No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 6th
Laps Completed: 103/103
Laps Led: 6
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-117)
Austin Cindric and the No. 22 MoneyLion team scored a seventh-place finish in the Pocono Green 250 Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. Cindric claimed his tenth top-10 in 12 races this season and his second top-10 finish in two races at the 2.5-mile triangular-shaped track. He now has 23 top-10 finishes in 46 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts. Cindric remains fourth in the driver point standings, 18 points behind third-place Cole Custer and 117 points behind the leader Tyler Reddick.
The driver of the MoneyLion Ford Mustang started his day at Pocono by qualifying third on Saturday morning. At the drop of the green flag, Cindric picked off second position before the race saw its first caution on lap six. On the restart Cindric was pinned in the center lane and was shuffled back to ninth-place. He fought back over the remaining laps in Stage 1 to score a fifth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 25. Crew chief Brian Wilson made the call to pit during the stage caution on lap 28 for four tires and adjustments. A mix of pit strategies put Cindric ninth in line when the race restarted on lap 31.
The opening laps start of Stage 2 was eventful for the young driver. Cindric made a great save while battling for sixth-place after his MoneyLion Ford got loose. He fell to 12th but rallied back to sixth by the end of the second 25-lap stage on lap 50. This time Wilson chose not to pit during the stage caution, playing a different strategy to only pit twice. Cindric cycled into the lead on lap 53 and held the top spot until lap 58. He held his own on old tires until lap 60 when he fell to the fifth position. Once he reached his fuel window, the driver of the MoneyLion Ford made his second stop of the race under green on lap 64 and returned to the track in 25th position.
Once the field cycled through their stops, Cindric was scored in eighth position. On lap 95 he was involved in an incident with Jeffrey Earnhardt and Tyler Reddick in Turn 2 to bring out the sixth caution. Cindric pitted for four tires during the caution and restarted 12th when the race went green on lap 97. Two laps later, he just slid by a spinning Justin Allgaier in Turn 1, which pushed the race into NASCAR overtime. Cindric rallied over the final two green-flag laps to grab a seventh-place finish at the checkered flag.
Quote: “Not the day we wanted but we will take a seventh-place finish. Really sorry about what happened to the No. 18, just got loose. He had way better short run speed and we chased him down during that run. The No. 2 just got me loose under him and we made contact. I hate it for him and the 18 team. We just have to figure how to make our cars better during the race but that’s racing. We executed the final restart to finish seventh.”