Track: Iowa Speedway
Race: CircuitCity.com 250 Presented by Tamron
Date: June 16, 2019
No. 22 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 9th
Stage 2: 4th
Laps Completed: 250/250
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 5th (-127 leader)
Austin Cindric scored a 10th-place finish in the CircuitCity.com 250 Sunday evening at Iowa Speedway. The driver of the Menards/Richmond Ford racked up his 11th top-10 of the season and his best finish in three starts at the .875-mile speedway. Cindric drops one position to fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver point standings, 127 points behind leader Tyler Reddick and five behind fourth-place Justin Allgaier.
Cindric earned the seventh-place starting position during qualifying for the 250-lap race on Sunday afternoon. When the race started, he held position inside the top-10, reporting to crew chief Brian Wilson the balance of the No. 22 Mustang was a little tight and that he needed to be just a tick more free to complete passes.
The race was slowed for the first time on lap 31, with Cindric scored in the seventh position. Caution number two waved on lap 50 and Cindric pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. The race went green on lap 56, just four laps from the conclusion of Stage 1. Cindric restarted 11th but battled his way back to a ninth-place finish when the segment concluded. He remained on the track during the stage caution and restarted eighth when the race went green on lap 68.
Stage 2 ran caution-free, which worked to Cindric’s advantage. The Mooresville, N.C. native ran laps comparable to the leader during the 54-lap run and climbed up to fourth-position when the segment concluded on lap 120. During the stage caution, Wilson called his driver to pit road for four tires and fuel. Speedy service on pit lane by the Menards crew moved Cindric up to third for the restart on lap 129.
The restart was not kind to the driver of the Menards/Richmond Ford, mainly due to the disadvantage of restarting in the bottom lane. Cindric was shuffled back to ninth-place shortly after the drop of the green flag. But he wasted no time slicing back through traffic, cracking the top-five before the fifth caution slowed the pace on lap 180.
The timing of the yellow put all competitors inside the fuel window to the end of the race. Cindric and the other leaders pitted and another fast stop by the No. 22 Menards crew, gave the young driver third-place for the restart on lap 186.
Despite restarting in the bottom lane, Cindric held his own when the race went green. He was running fourth when the sixth caution slowed the field on lap 217. Wilson called his driver to pit road during the caution for a stop to aid his driver for the short run to the finish. Cindric restarted fourth on lap 222, 28 laps from the finish.
A chaotic restart squeezed Cindric out of line and shuffled him back to 10th position. The final caution was displayed on lap 236, setting up one more restart and a 10-lap dash to the finish. This time Cindric was able to hold his own when the race went green. He battled for positions inside the top-10 during the closing laps before claiming a 10th-place finish at the checkered flag.
Quote: “We had a very good Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang. Not sure if we could have won the race, but a top-three day. I am very proud of my guys for executing the race. The final restarts just didn’t go our way and we ended up with a finish we didn’t deserve. I feel bad for my guys, but we will move on. We have some good takeaways to come from today, we had a competitive car and we will keep going.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!