NASCAR Cup Series Race Recap - Atlanta

July 11, 2022

Track:  Atlanta Motor Speedway      
Race:   Quaker State 400
Date:   July 10, 2022

No. 2 Menards/Quaker State Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Start: 5th
Race Finish: 3rd
Stage 1 Finish: 32nd
Stage 2 Finish: 12th
Laps Led: 7
Point Standings: 13th (-219)
Race Rundown: Austin Cindric made a spirited charge from the back to the front, finishing third in Sunday’s Quaker State 400 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The driver of the Menards/Quaker State Ford Mustang communicated his car was loose and dropped to the rear of the field just after the green flag flew, electing to stay out of the pack style racing early on. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins made major adjustments during the competition caution on lap 25, resulting in a 32nd-place finish in the first stage. The team made more adjustments during the stage caution, improving the handling of the Menards/Quaker State Ford. Cindric raced his way to 12th-place at the end of Stage 2 with a car that was continuing to improve. The team elected to take fuel only late in the race, allowing the Cup Series rookie to capture the race lead. Throughout the rest of the event, Cindric remained inside the top-12, finishing a hard fought third at the conclusion of the race. 

Cindric’s Thoughts: “It came to life.  We had to do a little CPR there early.  We were struggling pretty bad.  We were pretty loose to start the race and I’m just proud of the effort from the guys on the 2 car, being able to make the right adjustments and get us out of a hole there.  We went from not being able to go full throttle by myself on the racetrack to being able to run close behind other guys wide-open, so I’m proud of that effort and proud of a top-three finish.  I felt like we deserved to be up there by the end of the race after we established track position.  It was a solid day.  I wish we could have gotten the Quaker State Ford in victory lane in the Quaker State 400, but a top-three is pretty good.”

No. 12 Wabash Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Start: 6th
Race Finish: 5th
Stage 1 Finish: 4th
Stage 2 Finish: 4th
Laps Led: 2
Point Standings: 2nd (-47)
Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 Wabash Ford Mustang put up a strong fight in Sunday’s Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, ultimately resulting in a fifth-place finish. The Team Penske driver started sixth after inclement weather washed out qualifying Saturday and the lineup was set per the rulebook. Blaney maintained his track position through the onset of the 400-mile event, while working with a loose-handling Wabash Mustang to conclude Stage 1 with a strong fourth-place finish. The No. 12 continued to charge at the front of the field throughout Stage 2 while juggling a back-and-forth balance. After collecting points with another fourth-place finish in Stage 2, Blaney muscled through the final segment and collected a small scuff as two cars made contact ahead of him. In the final push, the No. 12 Mustang charged ahead to record its seventh top-five effort of the season with a fifth-place finish.
Blaney’s Thoughts: “We were OK.  We just lacked a little speed.  We were decent, but we kind of lost track position there when some guys only did fuel and it was hard to get back up.  Luckily, we ended up with a decent finish.  We’ll go on to next week.  We survived it and now we’ll get out of here.”

No. 22 Autotrader Ford Mustang – Joey Logano 
Start: 17th
Race Finish: 26th
Stage 1 Finish: 12th
Stage 2 Finish: 31st
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 7th (-122)
Race Rundown: Joey Logano started 17th and finished 26th in a frustrating Quaker State 400 on Sunday afternoon at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Logano reported early that the balance of the Autotrader Ford Mustang was on the loose side. Crew chief Paul called for multiple air pressure and chassis adjustments early on. Logano would bring the Autotrader Ford home 12th in stage 1. Unfortunately, he would be an innocent bystander in lap 92, multi-vehicle crash. The 22 crew would make repairs and Logano would fight his way back onto the lead lap to run in the top-10 during the final stage of the event. However, Logano’s day would eventually come to an end on lap 254 when he’d be caught in another multi-car accident, forcing the team to retire from the event. 

Logano’s Thoughts: “It was a tough day for our Autotrader Ford Mustang. We got caught in an early wreck and had to make repairs. Our car wasn’t 100% but was competitive. Unfortunately, our day came up just short. We’ll put it behind us and look towards New Hampshire."