Team Penske NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report

July 13, 2018

Track:             Kentucky Speedway     
Race:              Alsco 300
Date:              July 13, 2018    

No. 12 LASIK Vision Institute Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
:  4th
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 4th           
Finish: 10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 10th (-180)


  • Austin Cindric qualified and started fourth in the No. 12 LASIK Vision Institute Ford Mustang in Friday night's Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway, the highest of any rookie in the 40-car field. On lap 5, Cindric reported that his Ford Mustang was tight through the center of the corners, which was hurting his corner exit. However, on lap 13, he reported the handling of the car had started coming back to him, much like it had in practice during the team's long run.
  • On lap 35, crew chief Matt Swiderski called for a left side air pressure adjustment in preparation for the pit stop following the conclusion of the first stage, which ran caution free for 45 laps. Despite the handling conditions, Cindric maintained inside the top-five, finishing the first stage in fifth. Under the caution, he reported that he needed a little more fire-off speed, needing additional security on corner entry and maintaining the rotation through the center of the turns.
  • On the restart to open the second stage, Cindric went three-wide on the bottom exiting turn 2, ultimately gaining two positions by the time the field reached the start finish line.  During the second stage, Cindric would run in the fourth position, reporting only water temperatures. At the conclusion of the stage, Cindric reported that the No. 12 LASIK Vision Institute Ford Mustang was fairly neutral, only slightly tight as the track continued to cool after the sunset.
  • While battling inside the top-five on a restart just inside the final stage, Cindric found himself shuffled out of line when he made contact with the No. 42 car who became aero-loose on the tightly bunched restart. Maintaining position inside the top-10, the 19-year-old rookie driver began working his way back forward, reaching the eighth position by lap 113.
  • Under caution at lap 134, Cindric brought the No. 12 LASIK Vision Institute Ford to the pits for four tires, fuel and a small air pressure adjustment to help the loose entry and tight center handling condition he'd been battling. The team would line up for the restart in the eighth position.
  • Battling a loose condition, the No. 12 team elected to pit under caution at lap 163 for four tires and fuel, making an additional air pressure adjustment. The pit stop would put Cindric on fresh tires, in the 13th position, right where he was running prior to the caution flag.
  • Utilizing the fresh tires, Cindric worked his way forward to the tenth position in the closing 20 laps, scoring his sixth top-10 result of the season. Cindric remains 10th in the NASCAR XFINITY Driver Point Standings, as the series moves next to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.


"I had a top-three car.  I qualified it like that and ran the first two stages like that, but it just really bothers me that we haven't been able to capitalize for so many races in a row.  It doesn't matter what car I'm in.  Whatever happens in stage three everyone gets the red mist and it just feels like we're a bystander.  I'm trying hard.  I just have to keep doing what we're doing.  I'm proud of the 12 team.  Thanks to the LASIK Institute for coming on our Ford Mustang this weekend.  I just wish it could have turned out better."

No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Paul Menard 
:  14th
Stage 1: 11th
Stage 2: 9th
Finish:  9th
Status:  Running
Laps Completed:  200/200
Laps Led: 0
Owner Point Standings (ahead of first): 1st (+6)


  • Paul Menard finished ninth behind the wheel of the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in Friday night's Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway. Making his fourth start of 2018 for the No. 22 team, Menard kicked off the 300-mile event by qualifying his Ford Mustang in the 14th position.
  • Throughout the first 45-lap stage, Menard fought a tight Ford but despite the mishandling race car, Menard was able to work his way up to the 11th position, where he would finish the first stage. 
  • On the first scheduled pit stop, crew chief Brian Wilson called for a wedge adjustment in an effort to loosen up the car. A fast pit stop by the Discount Tire crew would line Menard up eighth to start the second stage when the race went back to green on lap 51.
  • The adjustment proved to help Menard as he was able to maintain position in the top-10 and running laps comparable to the top-three. The veteran driver communicated his Ford was still a tick tight and would lose ground entering the corners. The Wisconsin-native would finish the second stage ninth on lap 90.
  • Wilson called for more adjustments to help loosen up the No. 22 Ford. Menard would restart the final stage in the ninth position on lap 97. After a hectic start to the final stage, Menard would fall to the 11th position trying to avoid contact. Menard would work his way back into the top-10, running the fastest laps on track.
  • By lap 124 the driver of the No. 22 Ford would race his way to the seventh position. Menard communicated his Mustang was much better over the course of the long-run and would finish ninth at the end of the 200-lap event for his 100th career top-10 finish in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
  • The No. 22 Ford team remains first in owner points ahead of the No. 18 of Joe Gibbs Racing by six points.

"We were really tight.  I thought we got it pretty good about two or three runs to go and I just did a horrible job on restarts and couldn't get anything on restarts, lost spots, and then we couldn't make it back up.  I was kind of disappointed in that.  We were really tight and made good gains on it, got it driving good, and then I screwed up that restart pretty bad when we actually had some track position, so it was a tough one."