No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 6th
Laps Completed: 300/300
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-70)
- Austin Cindric and the No. 22 MoneyLion team scored a solid sixth-place finish in the Alsco 300 Saturday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway. Cindric claimed his fifth top-10 in seven races this season and his first in three races at Bristol. He now has 18 top-10 finishes in 41 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts. Cindric moves up to fourth in the driver point standings, 70 points behind leader Tyler Reddick.
- The driver of the MoneyLion Ford Mustang kicked off his day at Bristol by qualifying fourth on Saturday morning. Cindric said his No. 22 Mustang was loose at the start of the 300-lap race but held his own. He briefly fell to fifth position but as laps ticked off, he began running lap times faster than the leaders and scored a fifth-place finish when Stage 1 ended on lap 85. He pitted during the stage caution on lap 90 for four tires fuel and adjustments to aid his loose-handling Ford and restarted eighth when race went green on lap 99.
- On the restart, Cindric powered his way from eighth up to fifth position then settled into sixth during the long green flag run. The driver of the MoneyLion Ford said his Mustang was tight in the center of the corners but he was still able run lap times comparable to the leaders. On lap 166 the third caution brought a premature end to Stage 2, leaving Cindric with a sixth-place finish when the segment concluded. Crew chief Brian Wilson made the call to pit during the stage caution for four tires and another round of adjustments. Great work by the MoneyLion crew moved Cindric up to fourth for the restart on lap 179.
- Cindric worked his way up to second-place shortly after the race went green. But as the run progressed, so did the handling woes for the young driver. On lap 214, he made slight contact with the wall, dropping him back to eighth in the running order. He quickly recovered and was able to move up to sixth at the time of the fourth and final caution on lap 261, 39 laps from the finish.
- Wilson called Cindric to pit road for what was his final stop during the caution, making the call for four tires, fuel and adjustments. The young driver restarted sixth on lap 268, where he would remain at the end of the 300-lap event.
Quote: “We’ve made a lot of improvements in our package on the MoneyLion Ford and I think that showed today, both in qualifying and in the race. I feel like we’re just a bit compromised on short-run versus long-run speed and lane usage. I could either be really good on the bottom or really good on the top, but I couldn’t be good enough at both with speed over the long run. We’ve got some things to learn and something to bring back here in the summer but I had a lot of fun. I learned a lot. I think I was two laps down in Stage 2 here in the fall and was second in Stage 2 today so I’ll take it.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!