Washout Puts Cindric On Daytona Xfinity Pole

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Austin Cindric will lead the NASCAR Xfinity Series field to green at Daytona Int'l Speedway after qualifying was rained out Saturday morning. (Stephen Arce/LAT for Toyota photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric will start his title defense from the front of the field at Daytona Int’l Speedway, thanks to a little help from Mother Nature.

Cindric was awarded the pole position for Saturday afternoon’s Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 after heavy rain during the morning hours forced NASCAR and track officials to cancel time trials.

The qualifying session was slated to kick off at 10:30 a.m. ET, but weather moved in over Daytona three minutes into the preceding NASCAR Cup Series practice and forced that session to an early end.

NASCAR then officially called off Xfinity qualifying just after 11 a.m. ET, setting the lineup by car owner points from last season as per the NASCAR rule book and putting Cindric’s Team Penske-prepared No. 33 Verizon 5G Ford on the pole.

Joining Cindric on the front row will be last year’s title runner-up, Justin Allgaier, in a JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Justin Haley starts third alongside Riley Herbst, with defending race winner Noah Gragson filling out the top five.

Sixth through 10th on the grid are Brandon Jones, Jeb Burton, Harrison Burton, Josh Berry and Michael Annett, the 2019 winner of the Daytona season opener.

Two heavy-hitters, AJ Allmendinger and Friday practice leader Ty Dillon, roll off 31st and 32nd, respectively.

With 45 cars entered, five drivers failed to make the field, with NASCAR expanding the grid from 36 starting spots to 40 due to the cancellation of qualifying because of inclement weather.

Chris Cockrum, Ronnie Bassett Jr., Mario Gosselin, past Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick and Jordan Anderson were the drivers sent home by the qualifying rainout.

Reddick was not eligible for a past champion’s provisional because he did not attempt a NASCAR Xfinity Series race last season.

The Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 is scheduled for a 5 p.m. ET start, with live coverage on FS1, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

STARTING LINEUP: NASCAR Xfinity Series; Daytona Int’l Speedway; Feb. 13, 2021

  1. Austin Cindric
  2. Justin Allgaier
  3. Justin Haley
  4. Riley Herbst
  5. Noah Gragson
  6. Brandon Jones
  7. Jeb Burton
  8. Harrison Burton
  9. Josh Berry
  10. Michael Annett
  11. Myatt Snider
  12. Daniel Hemric
  13. Ryan Sieg
  14. Brandon Brown
  15. Brett Moffitt
  16. Jeremy Clements
  17. Josh Williams
  18. Joe Graf Jr.
  19. Alex Labbe
  20. Colby Howard
  21. Ryan Vargas
  22. Tommy Joe Martins
  23. Robby Lyons II
  24. Jesse Little
  25. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  26. Chad Finchum
  27. Matt Mills
  28. Danny Bohn
  29. Cody Ware
  30. Bayley Currey
  31. AJ Allmendinger
  32. Ty Dillon
  33. Landon Cassill
  34. Kyle Weatherman
  35. Gray Gaulding
  36. Stefan Parsons
  37. Timmy Hill
  38. Caesar Bacarella
  39. Brandon Gdovic
  40. Jason White

DNQ: Chris Cockrum, Ronnie Bassett Jr., Mario Gosselin, Tyler Reddick, Jordan Anderson