Cindric Pilots Ford Mustang to Victory at Road America


1st — Austin Cindric
3rd — Chase Briscoe


American Muscle

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang — CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH THE FINAL LAPS? “Yeah, with the cars that didn’t pit we definitely knew whoever had us was going to have to navigate that traffic the quickest. We were able to get around and once AJ got clear I knew I was running qualifying laps. This car was really fast on short runs. Those guys brought a great package and I tried to mind my p’s and q’s and put together two of my best laps to come home with the win. I am over the moon about it. This is the first place I ran an Xfinity race and I feel like every time I have come here we have had a shot to win. It feels great to do it and do it in front of fans and a home crowd from Menards.”

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WIN HERE AT ROAD AMERICA? “I think this is a special race track to any racer. You hear guys like Mario Andretti talk about it being the most complete race track in the world. The fans that come out to this place, whether there is a pandemic or not, it is such a great atmosphere and great family atmosphere. It makes you want to do it even more as a driver. It challenges you in every type of way, especially when there is weather. It also feels awesome to win at all three of the natural born road courses on the Xfinity Series schedule with Watkins Glen, Ohio and Road America. Those three are special to me in different ways. I am so proud that I get to drive these race cars.”

CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE LAST TWO LAPS? HOW CONCERNED WERE YOU ABOUT ALLMENDINGER? “I knew I was in control if I made it past turn five. We struggled with braking stability there last year all weekend today and with low fuel, that will make that a lot worse. With the alternative pitting it definitely made it hard for us because we couldn’t add fuel to the car to add stability in the rear of the car when we put new tires on. It is a lightweight car but at the same time the braking stability was a big thing for me to lose. I was moving my brake bias about five times a lap. The end of that long run as well as the last two laps. I am sorry if I am blinking a lot but I got something in my eye halfway through the race and it hurts so bad. I have been blinking like the entire last hour.”

WHAT DID YOU DO TO YOUR EYE? “Something came in my visor or something. It has been stuck under my eyelid from like halfway through the race. I have had tears running down my face the entire race and I can’t get it out. I was taking my gloves off and whatever. When you have the adrenaline it isn’t a big deal apparently because right now it is driving me crazy.”

WHAT KIND OF SUMMER HAS THIS BEEN FOR YOU WITH FOUR WINS IN FIVE RACES? “It has been incredibly gratifying. When I have a team behind me like I do this year and those guys are so loyal to me and do such a great job with the tools that they have. When it comes to me, it is my job to do the best with the tools I have. I feel like from the start of this year I have been getting the most out of the cars I have been driving and it is gratifying to see the results. I look for that to continue. It is a really fun month of race tracks with the Daytona Road Course and Dover, one of my favorite tracks and a double header there. A doubleheader at Richmond and Darlington I get another shot to figure that place out. And then Bristol. We have a lot of race tracks that I am really looking forward to closing out the regular season.”

DID IT MATTER TO YOU IF IT WAS A TWO-LAP OR FOUR-LAP SHOOTOUT? “I definitely think I was going to be a little better the longer we ran. I felt like I was able to save my tires enough and was going to be able to control the pace of the race there after we got a couple laps. I felt like my braking stability was good enough to be able to do that. With the two laps, it was about clearing those lap cars as quickly as possible. You can get a dive-bomb pretty quickly at this race track. Having that five or six car length buffer was really important after the first few corners.”

WATKINS GLEN IS NOT ON THE SCHEDULE NOW AND IS A TRACK THAT MEANS A LOT TO YOU. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON NOT RACING THERE THIS YEAR? “We have added some races to the schedule and you would think I would be really excited about going to the Daytona road course but we have also taken two tracks that I won at last year off the schedule and I feel like we would be really good there if we started with no practice. I really wish we were still going back there. Those are great race tracks and have a great history with our race car and race team. I miss that we will miss out on those events but it definitely adds some unique venues to go to from here.”

IT FEELS LIKE YOU AND AJ ALLMENDINGER KEEP RACING FOR WINS ON ROAD COURSES. THOSE LAST TWO LAPS, DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAD A SENSE OF WHAT HE WAS GOING TO TRY IF HE GOT THERE? “Yeah, a big lunge. I definitely knew he was going to try to lunge the first opportunity that he got. I felt like we were really good in the back section of the race track and he was good in some of the slower corners. For me, those were weak points last year, the higher speed corners. I think that is where Christopher Bell was able to maintain a lead and gap himself. We were able to do that same thing today adopting that to our race car. I am happy we were able to do that. Once I got through turn five I knew that I was in control. I knew that once I made it through those areas that we were going to be set to go.”

WE HAD A LONG RED FLAG AND TONS OF CAUTIONS. AS A COMPETITOR IN THE RACE, HOW HARD IS IT HAVING TO GO THROUGH ALL THAT? “Honestly, it wasn’t as troubling as you would think. We got like a 10-lap practice if you think of it that way. I feel like if that stage would have run green at the beginning of the race we would have been able to figure out where our car was on the long run and I feel like that has been our advantage early in these races. To understand where our race car is very quickly and try to get a gap. We weren’t able to do that today. I think it was a great practice session for everybody else to kind of get the jitters out, especially the guys that have never been here before to understand the race track. I said it in my post-race interview, we definitely over pressured our tires. I was probably the fastest car on the track for the first four or five laps and then all of a sudden I was junk. No grip, sliding on top of the track, I could smell the tires. I was spinning my tires at the top of fourth gear. It was terrible. So, that is what prompted me to pit and put us on the correct strategy with having tires there at the end and having a little bit of track position. It worked out for the best. I had a lot of fun racing Justin. That was cool. I think we raced side-by-side for three laps straight which is 12 miles here. Hopefully we gave everyone at home something good to watch. I don’t know with the Cup race at Michigan if people were able to watch it but it was a lot of fun.”

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT WEEK AT DAYTONA? “Honestly, I feel like Daytona with the exception of the new chicane that everyone else will have to learn as well as myself, it is a pretty straightforward race track. I expect the field to be tight like Indy. I wouldn’t rate Indy as the most difficult race track, the IndyGP, but I think that is why we saw some incredibly tight racing at that race track and I think you will see more of the same or even more at the Daytona road course. Given those straightaways it will be hard to get away from people in the draft. It is only like six or seven turns, not to downplay the track but I feel like guys will take to it and understand it quickly and it will put on a great show.”

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