NASCAR Xfinity Race Report - Atlanta

February 23, 2019

Track:   Atlanta Motor Speedway
Race:     Rinnai 250
Date:     February 23, 2019

No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric 

Start: 5th
Stage 1: 8th
Stage 2: 6th
Finish: 10th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 163/163
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-23)
Owner Point Standings (behind first): 6th (-23)


  • Austin Cindric scored a 10th-place finish in Saturday's Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The driver of the Discount Tire Ford Mustang scored his second top-10 finish of the 2019 season and captured his 15th top-10 in 36 NASCAR Xfinity Series races.  
  • Wet track conditions and a persistent mist canceled qualifying Saturday morning, forcing NASCAR officials to set the starting lineup per the rule book and giving Cindric the fifth-place starting position.
  • The Mooresville, N.C., native ran third during the opening laps of the 250-mile race. Over the course of Stage 1, Cindric's Ford Mustang became more and more tight and the young driver slowly lost track position. He finished eighth when the first segment ended on lap 40. During the stage caution, crew chief, Brian Wilson called Cindric to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to aid the handling of the No. 22 Mustang on the long run. Cindric restarted seventh when the race went green on lap 47.
  • Cindric did well at the start of the green flag run, climbing up to fifth position. He communicated his Ford was better over the long run. He did a solid job during the caution-free Stage 2 and scored a sixth-place finish when the segment ended on lap 80. Speedy pit service by the Discount Tire team during the following stage caution moved Cindric up to fourth for the restart on lap 87.  
  • Once again the Discount Tire Ford Mustang was strong during the first green flag laps of the run, slicing his way through traffic and up to second-place. But as the long run proceeded, Cindric slipped to the fourth position before a round of green-flag stops took place. He pitted under green on lap 121 and found himself in eighth-position when the cycle was complete, thanks to some of his competitors gambling on short-pitting and other different pit strategies. 
  • The third and final caution slowed the pace on lap 157, setting up a four-lap dash to the finish. Cindric lined up seventh for the restart on lap 160 but was shuffled out of line as the field came up to speed. He quickly recovered to claim tenth position at the checkered flag.
  • Cindric sits sixth in drivers points, tied with Cole Custer, just 23 points behind the leader.

Quote: "Not a bad day but not as good as I thought we would run. I don't know if that was due to the temperature or what. I felt way more comfortable on the bottom in practice. I will be the first one to tell you I don't know the first thing about running the top of the race track but there I was all the way in the race running the top of the race track. Might be some things for me to learn about that. I wish the final restart would have gone better. I don't know if it was the set of tires, we put on it or what, but I was as sideways as sideways can be without spinning out. It is a bummer to end the day on that."