No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 1st (3rd stage win of 2020)
Stage 2: 2nd
Laps Completed: 52/91
Laps Led: 11
Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-46)
Austin Cindric had a forceful MoneyLion Ford Mustang in the Pocono Green 225 Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. Cindric led 11 laps and was poised to contend for the win before misfortunes struck, leaving him with a 29th-place finish in the final rundown. The driver of the No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang sits fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, 46 markers behind leader Chase Briscoe.
Cindric started ninth in the scheduled 90-lap, 225-mile race after the field was set per random draw. The 21-year-old dominated Stage 1, an action-packed segment that saw four cautions and a 21-minute red flag for track cleanup. At the conclusion of the first stage, Cindric was scored as the leader, capturing his third stage win of the 2020 season. With the leaders choosing a mixture of strategies, crew chief Brian Wilson made the call to pit for four tires, fuel, and adjustments during the caution on lap 22 to aid his tight Mustang.
The Mooresville, N.C. native restarted 11th when Stage 2 went green. He was running the fastest laps on track throughout the 20-lap stage. Happy with the previous chassis adjustment during the first stop, Cindric and the MoneyLion Ford climbed back inside the top-five by lap 33 and survived a green-white-checkered dash to end the stage to finish second when the stage concluded on lap 40. Wilson called Cindric to pit road during the stage caution for four fresh tires and restarted third when the race went green.
Cindric was running fifth when trouble struck with 38 laps to go in the race. While the field was jockeying for position on the backstretch, Noah Gragson, running just ahead of the No. 22 Mustang, slipped sideways, triggering a multi-car pileup. Cindric was also collected with damage too severe to continue ending his afternoon early.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action Saturday, July 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course for the Pennzoil 150, with live coverage starting at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Quote: “It seemed like a couple of cars in front of me were checked up. The 9 was sliding off the bottom lane and I don’t know if he got into the 21 or the 21 hooked him. I don’t know. Either way it caused a big pile-up. We were obviously on the front side of our strategy. We had an incredibly fast MoneyLion Ford Mustang all day. We were able to cut through traffic when we needed to and just the wrong place, wrong time. It really stinks. I feel this is part of the long list of races where I feel like we should have contended for the win and here I am early, so it stinks but that’s racing. We’ll go to Indy, a hometown race for our team and I’m looking forward to that.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!