Track: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Race: Rhino Pro Trucks Outfitters 300
Date: September 14, 2019
No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 7th
Laps Completed: 199/200
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-38)
Austin Cindric and the No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang team started in the fifth position and finished 12th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday night. Cindric will enter the NASCAR Playoffs as the fourth seed in the standings, -38 points behind the leader Christopher Bell.
At the drop of the green flag, Cindric maintained his original starting position and reported on lap 12 that the MoneyLion Ford started to swing tight. Cindric raced up to the fourth position before the Stage 1 ended on lap 45. Crew chief Brian Wilson called the No. 22 Ford Mustang to the pits for four tires and an air pressure adjustment. The team suffered an uncontrolled tire penalty forcing Cindric to restart at the tail end of the field.
The 21-year-old steadily worked his way back inside the top-10 and was credited with a seventh-place finish during the caution-free Stage 2. Cindric communicated his car was good and Wilson called for no adjustments on the second pit stop. Fast service by the MoneyLion pit-crew gained Cindric three positions on pit road, allowing him to restart from the fourth position on lap 97.
Shortly after the restart, the pace was slowed for the third time on lap 111. Wilson elected to remain on the same pit cycle as the leaders by pitting during the caution. The crew was once again penalized for having too many men over the wall, causing Cindric to restart tail end once more.
On the restart, the Mooresville, N.C native wasted no time making his way back inside the top-10. The fourth caution was displayed on lap 124 with Cindric running eighth. The No. 22 MoneyLion Ford remained on track with 67 laps remaining in the 200-lap event.
After the restart, the MoneyLion Ford suffered a right front flat tire, causing Cindric to pit under green. He returned to the track in the 23rd position, one lap down to the leaders. The green flag pit cycle began on lap 167, allowing Cindric to cycle up to the 12th position, but still one lap down. He was unable to make ground up to the leaders and was credited with a 12th place finish at the end of the 300-mile event at Las Vegas.
Quote: “I am really proud of my guys for all the work they have done to get better on these types of tracks. That is the big takeaway for us today. Minimizing mistakes is crucial come playoff time and hopefully we got all those out of the way. I am proud of this MoneyLion Ford Mustang and the speed we had. It just wasn’t our day. If we can bring race cars like that with good speed, I think there were only two or three cars better than we were and that says a lot.”