No. 22 Menards/Tuscany Faucets Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 1st (1st Stage win of 2020)
Stage 2: 1st (2nd Stage win of 2020)
Laps Completed: 163/163
Laps Led: 68
Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-55)
Austin Cindric dominated two stages and led 68 laps Saturday afternoon, but a series of unfortunate circumstances resulted in a 16th place finish in the EchoPark 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 22 Menards/Tuscany Faucets Ford Mustang remains sixth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, 55 markers behind leader Chase Briscoe.
Cindric started the 163-lap, 251-mile race in the eighth position after the lineup was set per random draw. The 21-year-old showed good speed early, powering to lead on lap seven. During the first caution on lap 18, Cindric pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments on the No. 22 Ford. Cindric took the race restart in 21st place on lap 21 as the rest of the leaders elected to stay on track, but he recaptured the lead on lap 26 en route to his first stage win of the 2020 season.
The Mooresville, N.C. native lead all 40 laps in stage two and was credited with his second stage victory of the season on lap 80.
Cindric restarted the final stage from the second position and ran inside the top five early on. Looking for a long run to pave the way to victory, an unfortunate caution flag fell for Cindric on lap 124. He pitted from the second position for scuffed tires, but was hit with a speeding penalty while leaving pit lane. After serving the penalty, Cindric restarted from the 27th position on lap 128. Fighting dirty air in the closing laps, Cindric was able to fight to a 16th-place finish.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action with the Homestead-Miami Speedway doubleheader next weekend. The first race will take place on Saturday, June 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio followed by race two on Sunday, June 14 at 12:00 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Quote: “We’ve got a lot to be proud of on the 22 team. Our bed was made on the competition caution, when no one else came down pit road, and we were down a set of tires. I think we capitalized on both of our stage wins, but unfortunately couldn’t convert that race winning speed into a win. It stings a bit, but I’m proud of our work on preparation and unload, as I know that’s been key for our momentum since the break.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!