Austin Cindric comes up short for hat trick at Bristol

In what has been a dominant couple of weeks for Cindric and Team Penske with wins at the road courses at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio, Cindric was ready to finally win on an oval.

Cindric got off on the right track in Friday afternoon qualifying by winning his third pole of the year. When the Food City 300 got underway, the No. 22 Money Lion Ford was fast even though Cindric did not earn a top-10 stage finish in Stage 1.

He fought hard and finished fourth in Stage 2 and led for one lap. Cindric caught a few lucky breaks at the end with a caution late in the going. With the caution, the Team Penske driver still had hopes of going three in a row this season.

Ultimately, Cindric had to settle for a fifth-place finish. Still, he was happy with the result.

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“I would say we were a little better,” Cindric told PRN Radio describing his car. “I just never got an outside restart the entire night. They mean a lot here, especially when our short run wasn’t the best. We had a great car after 30 to 40 laps, fastest car on track kind of deal but didn’t have track position to use well enough.”

“Congrats to Tyler (Reddick), he’s a good friend of mine but I want it, man. It’s great to be on the pole, great to come home with a top-five. Great day for the guys, so we’ll move on to Road America and see if we can go three in a row on road courses.”

With the fifth-place finish, Cindric earned his ninth top five of the season.

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