Team Penske NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report

May 27, 2018

Track:             Charlotte Motor Speedway     
Race:              Alsco 300
Date:              May 26, 2018    
No. 12 Pirtek Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric 

Start: 8th
Stage 1: 17th
Stage 2: 16th
Finish: 16th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 204/204
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 12th (-193)


  • Austin Cindric battled his way to a 16th place finish Saturday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Cindric qualified his No. 12 Pirtek Ford Mustang solidly in eighth position in time trials on Saturday morning.  Once the race started, however, Cindric was battling a lack of rear grip and steadily slipped out of the top-10 by the conclusion of 45-lap segment.
  • Crew chief Matt Swiderski took a big swing with adjustments during the pit stop during the stage break, making several chassis adjustment to help the handling of the car. 
  • During Stage 2, Cindric reported that his Mustang was improved, but still needed more grip in order to be competitive during the 45-lap segment. The Sunoco Rookie Contender worked his way up to 12th position before falling back to the 16th spot at the end of the segment.
  • Cindric raced his way into the top-10 during the final stage but had fallen to 13th-place when a heavy rain halted the race on lap 172 for just over one hour.
  • After the delay, Cindric restarted from the 13th position with just 28 laps remaining. Unfortunately for the young driver, the track surface changed after the rain which caused his Ford to become very tight during the closing laps of the race. Cindric held on for a 16th place finish despite having his hands full with an ill handling car and remains 12th in the driver standings.

"Definitely below our expectations in the race compared to practice and qualifying. Not really sure why we struggled as bad as we did in the race but it was a struggle from lap one. Matt and the Pirtek team did a good job trying to get me some grip back but it just didn't work out. I am happy for the 22 guys and looking forward to rebound next week at Pocono."

No. 22 Fitzgerald's Glider Kits Ford Mustang – Brad Keselowski

Start: 1st
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 21st
Finish: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 204/204
Laps Led: 77
Owner Point Standings (behind first): 2nd (-6)


  • Brad Keselowski held off a fast closing Cole Custer to win Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY race at Charlotte.  Keselowski took the lead from Daniel Hemric with 44 laps to go and held on for the victory despite three cautions and a red flag delay for rain with 28 laps to go.  The win was Keselowski's 38th career NXS victory and his fourth at Charlotte. He won the second time this season, becoming the first repeat winner in the series.
  • Keselowski kicked off his day by winning the pole position for the 300-mile race.  He claimed his 21st pole positon in 251 career starts in the series and his first in 19 races at Charlotte.
  • Keselowski led 25 laps in Stage 1 before a tight handling condition shuffled him back to fifth-place at the end of the opening segment.  He pitted on lap 48 for four tires and adjustments but was a tick slow leaving the pits, which put him back to 14th-place when the race went green on lap 52.
  • He was up to eighth-place at the time of the third caution on lap 80 – 10 laps from the segment's conclusion. Crew chief Brian Wilson chose to make repairs to the car's damaged exhaust skirt during the caution which put Keselowski outside the top 20 when Stage 2 ended on lap 90 but didn't pit between stages and restarted in the lead when the race went green on lap 97.
  • Keselowski led the first 8 laps of the final stage but was way too tight when he made a scheduled stop under caution on lap 128. Unfortunately the team was penalized for a crewmember over the wall too soon and Keselowski again restarted outside the top 20.
  • He was worked his way up to 11th position when Wilson made a call for four tires under caution on lap 148 – doing the opposite of others on the lead lap. The move paid off when the leaders pitted under the next caution on lap 158, which cycled Keselowski to second-place. He grabbed the lead from Daniel Hemric on lap 161 and didn't look back, scoring his fourth Charlotte win in XFINITY competition by .421 seconds ahead of Cole Custer.   

"I'm really proud of everyone on the team, Brian here and the sponsors, Fitzgerald Glider Kits and Ford for the car that was well-prepared. I think it was definitely a perseverance day.  It was brutally hot out there.  The humidity was just killer.  I don't usually get that hot in a race car, but it was smoking out there.  There were a couple times where I swear the inside of the car was burning from the water and the humidity, but that's just part of the challenge of racing on days like this and glad to bring it home first, that's for sure."