Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Race: Rinnai 250
Date: February 24th, 2018
No. 12 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 8th
Stage 2: 7th
Laps Completed: 163/163
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 14th (-46)
- Austin Cindric started ninth and finished seventh in the No. 12 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Ford Mustang.
- Cindric finished the first stage in the eighth position, collecting two stage points.
- After starting the second stage in the 21st position, Cindric raced his way to seventh before the caution at lap 80.
- Cindric scored three additional points by finishing in the seventh position in the second stage.
- With wedge adjustments on each of the first two pit stops, Cindric communicated that his Mustang was as good as it had been all weekend, moving from 14th, back inside the top-10 in under four laps at the beginning of the final stage.
- An excellent final pit stop positioned Cindric for the run to the checkered flag, scoring his first top-10 finish in his third start in the XFINITY Series.
- With Cindric’s seventh place finish, he moved up to the 14th position in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Driver Point standings. Cindric scored points in each of the two stages during the 250-mile event.
Quote: “I think that’s a good way to start my season. My season did not start in Daytona. It’s a good way to start here. I think today I learned a lot of respect for Cup guys who do this 500 miles on Sundays. Holy cow. They’ve got a lot more power and a little heavier than we are, so this gives me some good perspective, but I’m really grateful to be able to be behind the wheel of a Penske car and have Fitzgerald and Tommy Fitzgerald Sr. here on the box watching us and supporting me. We’ll come to Fontana in the 60 car and learn a few things and try to get that program up to where it should be and we’ll go on to the next one. Just consistency and not overdriving your tires and just making sure you’re hitting your marks. That’s what it came down to. There were a few things left on the table, but I just wanted to finish and be there.”
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 3rd
Laps Completed: 163/163
Laps Led: 4
Owner Points Position (behind first): 7th (-22)
- Joey Logano started second and finished ( ) in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang.
- Throughout the first stage, Logano battled a loose condition on corner entry and exit, leading crew chief Brian Wilson to make a wedge adjustment on the first stop of the race.
- Logano restarted deep in the field for the second stage as most of the lead lap cars pitted on the prior caution. Using the fresh tires, Logano raced back to the top-five in the first four laps of the second stage, finishing in the third position.
- Through the opening run of the final stage, Logano remained quiet on the radio, only indicating he needed more overall speed, but the balance of his Ford Mustang was extremely close to neutral all the way around the 1.54-mile speedway.
- A fast final pit stop by the Discount Tire crew helped Logano cut down a three-second gap to the second place running Christopher Bell, ultimately passing him in the closing laps, finishing the race in the second position.
Quote: “I don’t think we were even close. Kevin played with us all day long. He just kind of rode along out there and would run a few hard laps when he needed to and when he had enough distance then he’d chill back out, but Kevin is just really good at it. It doesn’t matter what car he’s driving he’s just really good at Atlanta and apparently, we’re second-best to that. It was a decent run for our Discount Tire Ford. A second just always stings a little bit, but I don’t know where he’s faster than me. He’s faster all the way around Atlanta is what I figured out today. It’s not just one spot. He’s able to go when he needs to and he’s just good at it – Cup cars, XFINITY cars – he’s just really fast. Congrats to them. They deserve it and we’ll just keep our heads down and working hard.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!