Team Penske NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Report
Track: Kentucky Speedway: Race 1
Race: Shady Rays 200
Date: July 9, 2020
No. 22 Snap-on Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 3rd
Stage 2: 2nd
Finish: 1st (3rd career NXS win)
Laps Completed: 136/136
Laps Led: 41
Point Standings (behind first): 3rd (-45)
Austin Cindric survived three restarts in the final 30 laps and a NASCAR Overtime finish to capture his first NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) victory of the 2020 season Thursday night at Kentucky Speedway. Cindric scored his third career NXS victory and first on an oval. The driver of the No. 22 Snap-on Ford Mustang moves from fourth to third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, 45 markers behind leader Chase Briscoe.
Cindric started 12th after the lineup was set by a random draw. The 21-year-old wasted no time picking his way through traffic and was running second by lap 10 of Stage 1. While battling for the race lead, Cindric lost momentum and fell to third position, where he finished the 30-lap stage. Crew chief Brian Wilson made the call to pit during the stage caution for four tires, and fuel and Cindric restarted second on lap 37.
The second stage ran caution free and the Mooresville, N.C., native consistently ran the fastest laps on the track. Cindric continued to run the fastest laps on track and stayed inside the top-five throughout the 30-lap segment. He finished second when Stage 2 concluded on lap 60, grabbing with the position with seven laps to go. Once again, Wilson made the call to pit during the stage caution for four tires, fuel, and a slight adjustment and the No. 22 Snap-on Mustang restarted fourth the race went green on lap 67.
Cindric grabbed the lead from Justin Haley on lap 95 and appeared in control of the race as the race drew to a close. But it was wasn’t an easy drive down the stretch for the young driver. He survived three intense restarts during the final 30 laps, including a yellow on lap 131 – three laps from the original finish of the event. Cindric started on the outside of Chase Briscoe for the final two-lap dash to the finish, cleared his rival off Turn 2 and scampered away to score the win.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action with the second race from Kentucky Speedway Friday, July 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET, with live coverage on FS1, PRN, and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Quote: “I don’t care what shape the track is — if it’s dirt, oval, I don’t care I’m just so happy this Snap-on Ford Mustang is in Victory Lane. We’ve come so close all year. These guys have given me so many awesome race-winning cars. With Snap-on celebrating their 100th anniversary it’s awesome to have them on the car. These cars don’t get built without Snap-On tools, so I’m pumped. This is awesome. I’d love to be able to come back into another performance like that tomorrow night, but all the credit to my guys for getting me here.”