SPARTA, Ky. – It took Austin Cindric 81 races to earn his first victory on an oval in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. It took him only one race to win his second.
Cindric absolutely dominated Friday’s Alsco 300, leading a race-high 130 laps in the No. 22 Snap-on Ford Mustang en route to his second victory in as many days at Kentucky Speedway.
“Obviously an amazing weekend for us on this 22 team,” Cindric said. “Getting Snap-on two victories, they’ve been a long-time partner of Team Penske so I’m really happy to do that in their 100th year. It’s hard to describe the amount of preparation work that goes into making a weekend like this possible.”
Cindric started Friday’s race from the 15th position following an invert of the top-15 finishers from Thursday’s race. It didn’t take him long to roar to the front, taking the lead for the first time on the 62nd lap after passing rookie contender Harrison Burton.
He controlled the race from that point forward, only giving up the lead during a cycle of green flag pit stops midway through the final stage. Cindric hit pit road on lap 148 and cycled back to the race lead on lap 158, boasting a nine second lead over Daniel Hemric once pit stops were complete.
Cindric continued to pad his lead, growing it to more than 11 seconds when the final caution flag of the race waved on lap 180 when Brandon Jones backed his Toyota in the turn two wall while racing Hemric for second.
All of the lead lap cars hit pit road, but Cindric had such a big lead prior to the caution period that he easily won the race off pit road ahead of Hemric.
The race resumed with 13 laps left and Hemric did his best to steal the lead away from Cindric by sailing his Chevrolet into turn one. Hemric was able to briefly pull clear of Cindric, but Hemric’s Chevrolet slid up the track and out of the groove and Cindric sailed right back by to regain the lead.
From there Cindric pulled away, beating championship leader Chase Briscoe to the checkered flag by 2.262 seconds.
Cindric’s victory makes him the first driver since Richard Petty in 1971 to win back-to-back races on consecutive days in NASCAR national series competition.
Amazingly, Cindric said his team used two totally different setups during each race at Kentucky Speedway. It turned out both of them were winners.
“We started the weekend with one setup and we decided to take our lumps and try to learn something for the rest of the year,” Cindric said. “The ability to win both races with two different setups is really impressive for my team. I’m proud of that effort, proud to be part of it and proud to be driving these fast race cars and I’m proud to give Ford Performance a 1-2 tonight.”
Kaulig Racing teammates Justin Haley and Ross Chastain were third and fourth, with Justin Allgaier overcoming issues in the opening laps to record a fifth-place result.
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