MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Team Penske has announced that 20-year-old Austin Cindric will drive the No. 22 Ford Mustang full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next season.
“I have had such a unique opportunity this year to learn from so many people, and to learn quite a lot in a short amount of time,” said Cindric. “To have the chance to apply that experience for a full season with Team Penske in 2019 is a huge step in my career. I am so grateful for the confidence Mr. Penske, the 22 team, Ford Performance, Team Penske and all of their partners have put in me. I can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to accomplish together.”
Cindric began the current Xfinity Series season competing for Roush Fenway Racing and made nine starts in the No. 60 Ford Mustang over the course of the year. The Mooresville, N.C., driver also competed in eight races behind the wheel of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford Mustang, but the majority of Cindric’s Xfinity Series experience, and his best results, have come while racing the No. 22 Ford Mustang.
Entering this weekend’s event at ISM Raceway, Cindric has competed in 14 races driving the No. 22 and he has earned four of his five top-five results and seven of his 11 top-10 finishes racing the No. 22 Ford. He has also won all three of his poles this season in the No. 22.
Despite competing for three different teams this season, Cindric raced his way into the NASCAR Xfinity Series Round of 8 as the youngest series title contender and he was one of only three rookies to earn a spot in the Championship 12.
“Austin (Cindric) has done a solid job in his rookie season in the Xfinity Series under some tough circumstances. He has earned the opportunity to compete full time and fight for the championship in 2019,” said team owner Roger Penske. “We are excited to continue to see him develop his stock car skills and he should be one of the exciting young drivers to watch next season.”
Team Penske also announced that MoneyLion, which joined the No. 22 in September, has expanded its sponsorship of the team to include 18 races as primary sponsor next year as part of a multi-year agreement.
MoneyLion will also expand into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Team Penske by sponsoring Joey Logano in two races and Ryan Blaney in one race.
“Team Penske has shown uncompromising support of our efforts thus far, and we only aim to reciprocate that to Team Penske and NASCAR fans everywhere,” said Dee Choubey, CEO and co-founder of MoneyLion. “We’re thrilled to show our commitment to the sport and its fans in new and exciting ways that fans can truly experience. We’re so proud to support Team Penske’s team’s efforts, and look forward to growing our support of the broader team next season with Austin, Joey, Ryan and their crews.”
Team Penske will continue to run the No. 12 Ford Mustang on a limited basis in next year with Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Paul Menard sharing the driving duties.