Track: Kentucky Speedway
Race: Alsco 300
Date: July 12, 2019
No. 22 Mazak Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Start: 1st (4th career NASCAR Xfinity Series Pole)
Stage 1: 2nd
Stage 2: 20th
Laps Completed: 198/200
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-143 leader)
- Austin Cindric battled his way to a 14th-place finish with a wounded Mazak Ford Mustang in Friday night’s Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway. The driver of the No. 22 Mustang remains fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver point standings, 143 points behind leader Tyler Reddick and 75 behind third-place Cole Custer.
- Cindric earned the first place starting position during qualifying for the 200-lap, 300-mile event on Friday afternoon, laying down a lap time of 29.995 seconds and a speed of 180.030. The pole position was Cindric’s first of the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Season and fourth of his career.
- After the green flag waived to start the 300-mile race, Cindric slipped to the second position. Following an early caution, Cindric reported the balance of the No. 22 Mazak Mustang was a little tight on exit but decent on the short run. The race would resume on lap 11 and Cindric would hold his second position after the restart. As the green run progressed, Cindric said his Mazak Ford’s balance did not change, but he was running laps comparable to the leader. He would finish the first 45-lap segment in the second position and pit on lap 48 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
- The Mooresville, N.C. native would start the second 45-lap stage fourth on lap 51. Shortly after on lap 55, while battling for position, Cindric’s Ford got loose underneath the No. 11 of Justin Haley. Cindric would go spinning and make contact with the wall causing damage to his right rear. He brought his wounded Ford to pit road for repairs and lost a lap when the field went green on lap 59. He would return to the track in the 30th position one lap down and meet minimum speed. The pace was slowed for the fourth time on lap 68 giving the Mazak crew another opportunity to make repairs to the right rear. Cindric would restart in the 23rd position and race his way to 20th, the first car one-lap down by the end of the second stage on lap 90.
- The stage concluded and Cindric would receive the free pass, allowing him to rejoin the lead lap cars. He would pit on lap 94 for four tires, fuel, adjustments and repairs to the Mazak Ford. Over the course of the long green-flag run, Cindric was able to race his way from 20th to 14th by lap 114. The final stage would remain caution free and by lap 134, Cindric would lose a lap to the leaders. Green flag stops started on lap 148 and the No. 22 team’s strategy was to run long in hopes of catching a caution to catch the leaders. Cindric was called to pit road on lap 158 for four tires, fuel and adjustments. He would rejoin the field in the 13th position with 40 laps remaining.
- With a caution free final stage, the leader would lap up to the fifth position, Cindric going a second lap down on lap 170. Cindric would hang tough and cross the finish line in the 14th position at the end of the Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway.
Quote: “Really bummed overall about how tonight turned out. Pretty disappointed in myself to not be able to capitalize on such a fast car, that we proved capable of running with the best in the series. Patience on my end was what cost us that chance to capitalize. Buried under all my own self-criticism, are a lot of positives to take away from this weekend. It was awesome to get our first pole of the year, and I’m very proud of how my team has handled the adverse conditions, on and off track, that they have been dealt this weekend. Thank you to all the folks at Mazak for their support of our team and their enthusiasm at the track today, makes my job that much more satisfying.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!