Team Penske NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report

July 28, 2018

Track:                 Iowa Speedway
Race:                   US Cellular 250
Date:                   July 28, 2018

No. 22 LTi Printing Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric

Start: 6th
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 5th      
Finish: 18th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 254/257
Laps Led: 0
Owner Points Position (ahead of second): 1st (+4)


Austin Cindric and the No. 22 LTi Printing Ford Mustang started Saturday afternoon's NASCAR XFINITY Series race, the US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway, from the sixth position.

At the drop of the green, it was evident that Cindric's Mustang would struggle on the initial starts, but be solid on the long runs.  Cindric dropped all the way back to eighth just a few laps into the race, but drove back to fourth at the end of stage one.

Cindric told crew chief Brian Wilson the car was strong and he had more rear grip than many of his competitors, but he needed to be a little stronger on restarts.  Wilson elected for minor sir pressure changes to the LTi Ford Mustang during the first stop.

The second stage was relatively uneventful for the 19-year-old driver. Once again, he slipped back to sixth early, only to find himself drive all the way to third.  However, as the last few laps wore on, Cindric slipped to fifth, still gaining valuable stage points in the process.

Things took a turn for the worse about 30 laps into the final stage, as Cindric reported in a vibration on the No. 22.  Wilson told the youngster to ride it out, but the No. 22 eventually hit pit road under green to rectify a loose RF wheel.

It looked as if things might play out in Cindric's favor as green-flag pit stops began for the leaders.  However, just 15 laps later, the RF began to vibrate again, bringing Cindric down pit road for a second unscheduled stop.

The remainder of the race, the XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year contender rode around, trying to keep the nose of the LTI Printing Ford Mustang clean.  He eventually finished 18th. 

Quote"That's a disappointing finish with such a good LTi Printing Ford Mustang.  We really worked hard on race runs in practice and it showed early in the race.  We were pretty strong on the long runs.  We made some changes on the stop at the end of stage one and we were went back on those at the end of stage two.  I think we were going to be a top-five car for the rest of the race, but we ended up having an issue in the right front and I couldn't hold onto it any longer.  Those things happen in this sport, but it's just unfortunate.  I really am proud of the effort these guys put forth this weekend and I'm looking forward to getting back with the 22 team at Mid-Ohio."