Team Penske NASCAR XFINITY Series Race Report

August 17, 2018

Track:   Bristol Motor Speedway   
Race:    Food City 300
Date:    August 17, 2018
No. 12 Pirtek Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
: 17th
Stage 1: 20th
Stage 2: 19th
Finish: 14th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 308/310
Laps Led: 0
Driver Points Position (behind first): 9th (-228)

  • Austin Cindric qualified his No. 12 Pirtek Ford Mustang 17th for the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon.
  • As the 300-lap race went green, the 19-year-old fell to 23rd, two laps down to the race leaders while battling a very loose Mustang, a condition he would fight the entire night. 
  • On lap 70 the race saw its first caution. Crew chief Matt Swiderski elected to keep Cindric on track in order to take the wave-around and allow the rookie to battle for the lucky dog. By the end of Stage 1, Cindric would race his way to the 20th position. 
  • As Stage 2 started, Cindric continued to fight a loose Ford. He would once again fall two laps down to race leaders as the caution fell on lap 148. Swiderski once more elected to take the wave around. On lap 159 the race was slowed once again, Cindric being the lucky dog beneficiary to join the lead lap with five laps remaining in the second stage. The series rookie would finish Stage-2 in the 19th position. 
  • Cindric, communicated that his Pirtek Ford would not turn off the corner. The No. 12 team continued to work on Cindric's Ford and as the final stage progressed, he radioing his car was coming to him. But Cindric would continue to fight to remain on the lead lap and eventually lose ground to race leader Kyle Larson. With long green flag runs during the final stage, it limited the opportunity for the No. 12 team to rejoin the lead lap. The team continued to battle back, gaining five positions at the end of the race one lap down. 
  • With Cindric‘s 14th place finish he sits ninth in the drivers' standings.

"I'm not sure I would call it frustrating.  I've raced at Bristol three times and this is the first time I've ever raced at Bristol, so I had a lot to learn.  We went two laps down early in the race and fought like hell to get it all back and got it back, and then had some issues in the rear end on the final stint that probably cost us a top 10 finish, so, all in all, I learned a lot.  That's all I can ask from myself and that's all this team can ask from me, but, man, I just wish we could get more."
No. 22 Snap-on Tools Ford Mustang – Joey Logano
:  4th
Stage 1:  4th
Stage 2: 14th     
Finish: 5th
Status:  Running
Laps Completed: 310/310
Laps Led: 2
Owner Points Position (ahead of second):  1st (+81)

  • Joey Logano started fourth in Friday night's Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in the No. 22 Snap-on Tools Ford Mustang. Logano jumped to the second position on the initial start, but settled back into the fourth position for the opening run, before overtaking the No. 42 for third at lap 28. Logano reported that the Snap-on Tools Mustang took off free, but slowly improved during the run.
  • The team elected to pit on lap 77 to change four tires, make an air pressure adjustment and attempt to correct the loose in and off condition Logano battled through the opening green flag run. Quick pit work sent the Snap-on Tools Mustang off pit road first, but Logano was forced to lineup in third position behind two cars that had remained on track. The team finished the quick dash to the green-checkered in the fourth position to end the first stage.
  • A caution flag with 10 laps remaining in stage 2 borough the Snap-on Tools Mustang to pit road for four tires and an air pressure adjustment to help the center turn Logano reported he was lacking. The pit sequence would jumble the field for the conclusion of the second stage as numerous teams remained on the track to collect stage points. Unfortunately on the pit stop, NASCAR determined that the team had an uncontrolled tire violation, resulting in the team being sent to the tail end of the field.
  • Logano worked his way back inside the top-10, and with a caution flag at lap 258, was able to pit and close the gap to the race leaders. The team made another air pressure adjustment as the driver reported he was tight in the center of the turns. Logano would restart in the sixth position with 35 laps remaining.
  • Logano battled through a late race restart and NASCAR Overtime, bringing the Snap-on Tools Ford Mustang home in the fifth position.  

"Our balance wasn't awful.  We'd get tight in the center and loose off and how do you fix that?  Usually, you fix the exit and your center is going to get tighter, so just struggling a little bit with that.  I thought we were OK there that last run.  We were able to drive up to third and honestly I thought we could have drove up to second and then the caution came out, and we restarted on the bottom lane.  The bottom lane just stinks.  You're down there and you try to do everything you can, and our car didn't fire off well."