NASCAR Cup Series Race Recap - Watkins Glen

August 22, 2022

Track:  Watkins Glen International
Race:   Go Bowling at the Glen
Date:   August 21, 2022

No. 2 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Start: 8th
Race Finish: 13th
Stage 1 Finish: 18th
Stage 2 Finish: 18th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 15th (-342)

Race Rundown: Austin Cindric, driver of the No. 2 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang, logged a 13th-place finish at the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International road course on Sunday afternoon. Cindric lined up for the 90-lap event in the eighth position after advancing to the final round of qualifying on Saturday afternoon. After a lengthy weather delay, the field transitioned to rain tires for the start of the 220.5-mile marathon. Cindric came to the attention of his pit crew during the opening segment to exchange the rain tires for dry slicks and finished Stage 1 in the 18th position, relaying that the slick tires helped his braking. Unfortunately, the 23-year-old NASCAR Cup Series rookie restarted at the rear of the field for the beginning of Stage 2 after collecting a speeding penalty on pit road. Cindric rallied forward, maneuvering his Ford Mustang back up to 18th at the conclusion of Stage 2. Electing to stay out at the break, the yellow Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang restarted 14th, but lost seven positions in the early goings after a move battling for position. Regrouping, Cindric received four fresh tires for the march to the end, resulting in a 13th-place result.

Cindric's Thoughts: "It was a mixed bag at the beginning of the race with the rain and wet conditions.  In the end, I just made too many mistakes.  We made some good changes to the Menards Ford Mustang for the dry.  Overall, it got us off strategy though.  Then, I made a mistake on the restart.  It was not my best day. But I felt like we were able to maximize and get where we were supposed to be.  We just missed out on some stage points where we could have earned them.  I'm happy to be able to get what we could out of it."

No. 12 Wurth Ford Mustang – Ryan Blaney
Start: 26th
Race Finish: 24th
Stage 1 Finish: 30th
Stage 2 Finish: 13th
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings: 3rd (-143)
Race Rundown: Ryan Blaney started 26th and finished 24th in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International to keep his playoff hopes alive. The driver of the No. 12 Wurth Ford Mustang battled track position struggles much of the afternoon after starting in the back half of the starting field on Sunday afternoon. Blaney began on the race on rain tires and steadily gaining on the leaders. He would opt to pit before the stage break for slick tires, coming home 30th in Stage 1, reporting that the Wurth Ford Mustang was tight on both left- and right-hand turns. Stage 2 would see Blaney make gains, coming home in the 13th position after getting some of the track position that the No. 12 team needed. The final run to the finish saw Blaney lose ground late, following several late-race cautions. He would finish in the 24th position. Blaney remains on the NASCAR Playoffs bubble spot heading to the regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway Saturday night. 

Blaney's Thoughts: "Tough day for the Wurth Ford Mustang. I felt like we had decent speed but lacked track position. Certainly don't want to be in the position we're in, but proud of everybody on this team and we'll be ready to go next Saturday night."

No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
Start: 20th
Race Finish: 3rd
Stage 1 Finish: 6th
Stage 2 Finish: 1st (Fourth stage win of 2022)
Laps Led: 15
Point Standings: 4th (-155)

Race Rundown: Joey Logano started 20th and finished an impressive third in Sunday's Go Bowling at the Glen at Watkins Glen International. The driver of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang picked up points in both stages, including a stage victory at the end of Stage 2. The 90-lap event began under rainy conditions, with all teams starting on rain tires to begin the event. Logano would come to pit road when the track dried enough for slick tires less than 10 laps after the start. The early stop means he would come home sixth in Stage 1. Logano would begin Stage 2 from inside the top-five. Strong moves around Kyle Busch and Michael McDowell gave Logano the lead, where he would remain and hold off Busch to win Stage 2, his fourth stage win of the 2022 season.  Logano would pit at the stage break and restart outside the top-15. Logano would steadily work his way back to the front, including an impressive restart with less than 10 laps to go.  Logano would run near the front of the field in the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang, bring home a third-place finish.

Logano's Thoughts: "It was crazy and I am ecstatic about what we did. We got the stage win, and usually, if you get a stage win here you bury yourself, which we did. We were 27th at the start of the third stage. We passed a bunch of cars and got to 17th and then we got stuck around 15th or so. I have to give it to Paul (Wolfe), he put two tires on it and gave us some track position and then we had a couple of more good restarts and it ended up as a top-three. Pretty good."