Team Penske NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report

August 11, 2018

Track:                  Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Race:                   Rock n Roll Tequila 170
Date:                   August 11, 2018
No. 22 PPG Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
: 1st (second-career NASCAR XFINITY Series pole)
Stage 1: 5th
Stage 2: 1st      
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 75/75
Laps Led: 59
Driver Points Position (behind first): 9th (-212)
Owner Points Position (ahead of second): 1st (+46)

  • Austin Cindric earned his second-career NASCAR XFINITY Series pole – and just missed Sam Hornish Jr.'s track record – in qualifying for the Rock-n-Roll Tequila 170 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday morning.  Cindric and the No. 22 PPG Ford Mustang won the pole by over a half second from the next quickest qualifier.
  • As the 75-lap race went green, Cindric jumped out to a big lead, pacing the field for the first 17 laps before coming to pit road just before the end of stage one.  Cindric had built such a big lead that he was still able to come out in fifth to finish the first stage.
  • Cindric described his car as "peachy" before once again starting from the front to begin stage two.  Once again, Cindric jumped out to a huge lead and led every lap to earn his first-career XFINITY Series stage win and gain a playoff point.
  • With some cars pitting early, Cindric restarted the No. 22 PPG Mustang in the fourth position for the final stage.  It took him just seven laps to once again regain the top spot and, once again, pull out to a nearly four second lead on the rest of the field. 
  • Several late-race cautions bunched the field with less than 10 laps to go.  This allowed the No. 7 of Justin Allgaier, who had pitted for fresh tires late in the final stage, to catch up to Cindric's No. 22 Mustang.  With just four laps to go – and 20-lap fresher tires – Allgaier was able to get by Cindric and pull away for the win.  The 19-year-old Cindric would still finish a career-best second.
  • Over the course of the day, Cindric lead a race-high 59 laps.
  • The runner-up finished extended the point lead for the No. 22 in the Owners' point standings. They now lead the No.  18 of Joe Gibbs Racing by 46 points.  Cindric sits ninth in the drivers' standings, over 100 points ahead of the cut off spot.

"I have to thank PPG and everyone who has helped me make this year possible. Obviously a big points day for me and getting a stage win which was huge. We executed on every restart, but just too bad we couldn't capitalize on having a dominant car. Allgaier was probably second best to us most of the weekend, so obviously their guys brought a really good piece and deserve it.  But we had an amazing PPG Ford Mustang.  It was the class of the field today.  I had every opportunity to shove him off the track, but I didn't need to win that bad.  No, I'm just looking forward to the playoffs. I think we're a team that can make a run for the Championship Four."