Cindric, the reigning Xfinity Sequence champion, opened the 2021 season by profitable the collection opener at Daytona Worldwide Speedway – a powerful opening act for a driver coming off a 12 months during which he received a career-best six races.
Cindric, nevertheless, was additionally pulling double responsibility at Daytona for the primary time.
The 22-year-old son of Crew Penske President Tim Cindric already is aware of he’ll transfer fulltime to the Cup Sequence in 2022 driving for the Wooden Brothers but additionally has a handful of Cup races deliberate this 12 months in preparation.
The Daytona 500 was his first begin and he squeezed into the sector as a non-charter group because of a stable qualifying effort. He then stayed within the combine for the win within the race, getting caught up within the last-lap wreck that collected his Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.
At instances throughout the race, he was being lauded by the Fox Sports activities announcers as having maybe the strongest Crew Penske efficiency.
Austin Cindric, Crew Penske, Ford Mustang Verizon 5G
Photograph by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images
“There’s a lot to be happy about. We made the race by the pores and skin of our tooth and it’s the first time I’ve completed double-duty at that degree. For me, managing my priorities was very difficult,” Cindric mentioned.
“A whole lot of late nights and I undoubtedly sacrificed some sleep for prep work and ensuring I used to be ready for the times forward. I’m glad that I did that. I feel it paid dividends within the Duels and the Xfinity race and the five hundred.”
Cindric even managed to steer two laps within the 500 at one level.
“Operating up entrance within the Daytona 500, it’s a bummer since you don’t get to try this on daily basis. The Daytona 500 solely occurs every year and there are a number of guys and succesful drivers,” he mentioned.
“To search out your self operating within the top-five for almost all of the occasion – we raced our manner up there a number of the time. I’m pleased with that effort.”
Mark Rushbrook, International Director of Ford Motorsports, was amongst those that took discover of Cindric’s spectacular week at Daytona.
“I feel he has proven all of us what he’s able to final 12 months within the Xfinity Sequence with the wins he had and getting the championship and simply the boldness. He is aware of that he can win on any monitor,” Rushbrook mentioned of Cindric.
“He has the group and automobile behind him and the boldness to go and do this and to carry the group together with him and lift all people to a better degree. Actually, we’re excited to see him in a number of Cup races this 12 months and into subsequent 12 months.
“However to see what he was already capable of do in his first Cup race within the largest race of the 12 months is a superb testomony to who he’s and his capacity to step as much as the extent of all people that he’s racing towards. He did an excellent job on Sunday.”
Defending NXS title whereas branching out into the Cup Sequence
Cindric returns to a Xfinity Sequence-only schedule this weekend on the Daytona Highway Course and it gives an excellent alternative to start out the 12 months 2-0.
Within the meantime, he’ll wait patiently for his subsequent Cup Sequence begin.
As a result of Cindric is operating a part-time group and there solely seven extra races with qualifying on the schedule, Crew Penske must wait till it’s nearer to races they want to try to see if they will make discipline.
“I’ve checked the field on the speedways. I don’t see us operating one other one this 12 months,” he mentioned. “That was an excellent expertise for me. I’m trying ahead to getting a style on the 1.5 mile and quick tracks and the highway programs to see the place I can enhance there and the way I stack up in these races and the way I can contribute to our effort in that collection this 12 months.
“I’m very excited. It has given me loads to consider however on the identical time my precedence remains to be within the Xfinity Sequence and I’m able to go to the highway course this weekend and enhance on what we did there final 12 months and proceed to attempt to get good outcomes.”