Team Penske NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Report - Circuit of the Americas

May 22, 2021

Track:    Circuit of the Americas
Race:     Pit Boss 250
Date:     May 22, 2021

No. 22 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Start: 8th
Stage 1: 9th
Stage 2: 15th
Finish: 5th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 46/46
Laps Led: 2
Driver Point Standings (ahead of second): 1st (+77)

  • Austin Cindric and the Menards/Richmond racing team scored their eighth top-five finish of the 2021 season with a fifth-place finish Saturday afternoon at Circuit of the Americas. Cindric led two laps at the 20-turn Texas Road Course and showed impressive poise behind the wheel, rallying back from a slow final stop, which dropped him to the 15th position, where he'd fight forward through the closing laps to claim the top-five result. Cindric remains the leader in the series driver standings, stretching his lead to 77 points ahead of Harrison Burton.   
  • Cindric qualified his Ford Mustang eighth Saturday afternoon during a qualifying session that consisted of heavy rain. At the drop of the green flag the reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion steadily worked his way to fifth before the first caution fell on lap 10. Cindric communicated his Menards/Richmond Mustang was lacking drive. Crew chief Brian Wilson called his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Cindric restarted the one-lap dash to the Stage 1 finish 24th and sliced through traffic to claim a ninth-place finish when the segment concluded on lap 14.
  • Cindric restarted the second stage third, claiming the race lead in turn 1. The 54 of Kyle Busch charged hard recapturing the lead from Cindric two laps later. Wilson called his driver to pit road from the third position with four laps remaining in the second stage for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments and finished the second stage 15th. 
  • Cindric stayed out during the stage caution, lining up eighth when the race went green on lap 32. During the next run, Cindric said the No. 22 Menards/Richmond Ford was still lacking drive but the Mooresville, N.C. native powered through the conditions and was able to drive his Mustang to the fifth position by the end of the 46-lap event.

Quote: "We just didn't execute today.  We had a really bad pit stop and lost a lot of track position and we weren't quite good enough to make it up.  I didn't have anything for the 54, but that's the way it goes."