Team Penske NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Report
Track: Texas Motor Speedway
Race: My Bariatric Solutions 300
Date: July 18, 2020
No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 2nd
Finish: 1st (Fifth-career NXS Victory)
Laps Completed: 201/201
Laps Led: 44
Point Standings (behind first): 2nd (-24)
Austin Cindric captured his third-straight victory of the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season on Saturday afternoon in the My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. The win came after Cindric initially crossed the finish line in second, but was elevated to the victory when the No. 54 of Kyle Busch was disqualified for failing post-race tech. The driver of the No. 22 MoneyLion Ford currently sits second in NXS driver standings, 24 markers behind leader Chase Briscoe.
Cindric started third and wasted little time taking over the race lead shortly after the drop of the green flag. Over the course of the first 45-lap stage, the MoneyLion Mustang was loose, forcing Cindric to drop to fourth at the conclusion of Stage 1. Crew chief Brian Wilson made the call to pit during the stage caution for four tires, fuel and major adjustments to aid the loose handling Mustang. Solid work on the pit lane by the MoneyLion team moved Cindric up to second for the restart on lap 51.
The second 45-lap stage was slowed by two cautions with the Mooresville, N.C., native holding firm to the second position. The young driver communicated to Wilson that his Ford Mustang took off tight but came to him during the long run en-route to finishing second when Stage 2 concluded on lap 90.
Cindric restarted the final stage in eighth but had climbed up to third when the eighth caution came out on lap 118. He grabbed the lead on lap 153, just before making his final scheduled green flag stop. The No. 22 MoneyLion Ford cycled out to the second position when the final caution waived on lap 196, pushing the event to an overtime finish. Cindric lined up on the inside of race leader Kyle Busch for the final restart but couldn’t find a way around his rival during the two-lap sprint to the finish.
However, once post-race tech concluded, NASCAR declared that the No. 54 did not pass tech, giving Cindric and the No. 22 MoneyLion team the victory for the third time in the last three races.
The victory is Cindric’s fifth-career NXS victory. The 21-year-old led 44 out of 200 laps, marking his ninth-consecutive race to lead at least one or more laps.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action at Kansas Speedway Saturday, July 25 at 5:00 p.m. ET, with live coverage on NBCSN, MRN, and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Quote: “Yeah, going three in a row in the Penske Eight-Wide Weekend is huge. Roger doesn’t race in any series not to win and to be able to capitalize like that and have three in a row between Simon’s awesome win from the back last night at Iowa, I loved watching that race. Scott McLaughlin got it done last night in Australia down in Sydney and then for us to follow up on our end of the deal is great. I don’t know how the IMSA race is going right now. I know the 7 car is having some sort of trouble, but hopefully the 6 car can pull it off and keep it going because I think Newgarden and our guys down in the Iowa can do it again tonight. It’s exciting. It’s what you expect when you drive for this team. You drive for Roger Penske, you have the tools to do it, so I’m just proud to be able to drive the wheels off the race car every weekend.”