Team Penske NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Report – Watkins Glen

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  • Austin Cindric and the No. 22 CarShop Ford Mustang team grabbed a third-place finish in the Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 Saturday afternoon at Watkins Glen International.  Cindric collected his 13th top-five finish in 20 races this season along with his eighth stage victory.  He has now finished inside the top three in his two most recent starts at the New York road course. The driver of the No. 22 CarShop Ford remains atop of series driver standings, 80 markers ahead of second-place AJ Allmendinger.  
  • The starting lineup was once again set per the NASCAR rulebook, which gave Cindric the second-place starting position. He took the lead on the opening lap and never looked back, winning Stage 1 for his eighth stage victory of the season. Cindric said the balance on his Mustang was good aside from too much wheel hop in the corners and it needed more turn. Crew chief Brian Wilson made the call for Cindric to pit during the stage caution on lap 22 for four tires, an air pressure adjustment, and fuel. A mix of pit strategies among the leaders shuffled Cindric back to 12th position for the restart on lap 24.
  • Over the course of the second 20-lap stage, the Mooresville. N.C. native showed his road-course skills, racing his way through traffic to score a third-place finish when Stage 2 ended on lap 40. This time during the stage caution, Wilson left his driver out on the racetrack and Cindric restarted third when the event went green on lap 43.
  • Once the race restarted, Cindric held firm to second-place but shortly thereafter radioed to his team that the No. 22 Mustang was getting tighter during this run. The sixth caution was displayed on lap 50 and allowed Cindric to pit for four tires and another round of adjustments. Once again Cindric restarted back in 12th and once more he climbed his way up the leaderboard, moving up to second by lap 65. Two more yellow flags (on laps 69 and 78) would slow the pace and Wilson kept his driver on the track during both cautions. Cindric took the lead on lap 71 from Ty Gibbs but unfortunately couldn’t stay there. He fell back in line to the third position one lap later, where he would remain at the conclusion of the event.

Quote: “Yeah we just weren’t quite good enough to fire off. I felt like Ty was probably better than me and AJ most of the race. I gave it my all. Took the lead on the restart and wasn’t good enough to hold it. We’ll take it and move on. Solid day for points in the CarShop Ford Mustang. I just wish we would have been able to hold the lead after that restart, but probably not good enough.”

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