No. 22 Snap-on Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 15th
Stage 2: 6th
Laps Completed: 250/250
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (ahead of second): 1st (+71)
Austin Cindric and the No. 22 PPG Ford Mustang team clinched the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season championship after finishing in the 10th position in the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 250 at Richmond Raceway on Saturday afternoon. The finish was Cindric’s fifth top-10 in six starts at the Virginia short track and his 20th top-10 finish of the 2020 season. Cindric continues to lead the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, 71 markers ahead of Chase Briscoe.
Cindric started the 250-lap, 187-mile event from 12th position after the top-15 finishers from Friday nights Richmond Raceway event were inverted. The first 75-lap stage saw two cautions, including the competition caution on lap 40. Cindric was scored in the sixth position after battling a tight PPG Ford Mustang. As Stage 1 progressed, the handling condition worsened and with five-laps remaining in Stage 1, Cindric radioed the right front tire might be going down. He was able to remain on track, but slipped out of the top-10, finishing Stage 1 in 15th position. Crew chief Brian Wilson called the PPG Ford down pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments to aid the handling of his Mustang.
The Mooresville, N.C. native started Stage 2 from the eighth position on lap 83. During the long run he communicated the rear drive was better in his PPG Ford but needed more to run with the leaders. The second 75-lap stage saw its first caution with eight-laps remaining and once again, Wilson called Cindric to pit road for four tires, fuel, and adjustments. The driver of the PPG Ford restarted 12th with five-laps remaining in the stage and finished sixth on lap 150.
Wilson elected to stay out during the stage caution and Cindric restarted the final stage sixth and quickly moved up to fourth. As the laps ticked off during the final stage, Cindric continued to battle a tight Ford. Big picture racing for the regular-season championship title, the team played it conservative and dropped to the ninth position. The fifth caution of the race fell with 22-laps remaining. Cindric came to pit road for four tires, fuel, and an adjustment for the short run. He restarted ninth on lap 236, finishing 10th and clinching the regular-season championship at the checkered flag.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action at Bristol Motor Speedway, Friday September 18th, for the final regular season NXS race before the start of the Series Playoffs. Live coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio
Quote: “I wish we would have been able to do more with our PPG Ford Mustang today. We sat down as a team at the beginning of the year and we all wrote down our top-three goals. I am not a big proponent of setting goals but we put something on paper and my number one was the regular-season championship. From the outside looking in that was maybe a lofty goal but we have a lot of speed and a lot of fight and I am really proud of that effort and the effort of my team.”
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!