FORT WORTH, Texas – Austin Cindric inherited the win in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 after the apparent race-winning car of Kyle Busch failed post-race technical inspection.
Busch, who crossed the finish line first and was poised to collect his record-extending 98th series victory, was disqualified after the left rear corner of his No. 54 Toyota Camry was found to be too low.
That bumped original runner-up Cindric to the top position, giving him his third straight Xfinity Series victory after a sweep of the Kentucky doubleheader one week ago.
It marks Cindric’s third win of the year and the fifth of his Xfinity Series career.
“It’s obviously great to get the MoneyLion Ford Mustang to victory lane, no matter how it happens. It was a great points day,” said Cindric, who led three times for 44 laps, but was never much of a factor out front in the last three quarters of the race. “I got out of the hauler after changing into my street clothes, and saw the (No.) 54 and everyone and their brother surrounding it at the scales. That’s never a good sign for those guys, because I know they race hard and work hard.
“You want to win it on track, and I felt like we had a shot to do that, but we didn’t execute as well as we should have and that’s what kept us out (of victory lane),” Cindric added. “Fast race cars and being in position leads to success, though, and today just worked out in the end.”
Cindric’s victory also kept Team Penske perfect through the first three races of the organization’s “Eight Wide Weekend,” in which Penske entries are running in NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA and Supercars.
Simon Pagenaud won Friday night’s NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway and Scott McLaughlin followed suit Saturday with a Supercars win in Sydney, Australia, before Cindric’s Xfinity triumph.
At press time, one of Penske’s Acura sports cars – the No. 6 DPi of Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya – was also leading overall in the two hour, 40 minute sprint race at Sebring Int’l Raceway.
“Going three in a row during the Penske Eight-Wide Weekend is huge,” Cindric noted. “Roger (Penske, team owner) doesn’t race in any series not to win, so to be able to capitalize like we did and have three in a row now between Simon’s awesome win from the back last night in Iowa, Scott McLaughlin getting it done in Sydney and then us following up on our end of the deal, it’s great. It really is.
“It’s exciting. It’s what you expect when you drive for this team.”
Xfinity Series Managing Director Wayne Auton joined the media via videoconference after the race to discuss the procedure and details that ultimately went into Busch’s disqualification.
“We automatically take our top five cars and a random to post-race inspection every week, and the cars are checked exactly like we check them pre-race,” Auton explained. “That’s with the shocks and all unhooked. The teams have the ability to pick up on their cars after the shocks are unhooked; we check air pressures first, then one person can unbolt the shocks and pull up on the front end. It’s their choice.
“After that, the hood is put down and the car is rolled up onto the height station, so that we’re checking things apples to apples,” Auton continued. “Then we put the height sticks on them, and if there’s any discrepancies, we look at the body to see if there’s any damage that may have caused the car not to pass. We did not see anything like that on the (No.) 54 car today.
“We verified with the crew chief that the left rear was low, in the red … rechecked the air pressures, and then they height sticks were displayed on the car again and the left rear was still in the red. At that point, we notified the team that their car would be disqualified from Texas.”
Thanks to the disqualification, Busch dropped from the race win to last in the 37-car rundown.
That elevated Chase Briscoe to second, followed by Justin Allgaier, who led a race-high 98 of 201 laps but had to rally back to third after being penalized for a blend-line penalty on pit exit with less than 30 to go.
Harrison Burton and Michael Annett were officially scored fourth and fifth, respectively.
Jeb Burton, Brandon Jones, Justin Haley, Ross Chastain and Brandon Brown filled out the top 10.
Cindric becomes the ninth driver in history to win three or more Xfinity Series races in a row and the first to do so since Christopher Bell in July of 2018.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series season continues July 25 at Kansas Speedway.
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