By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer
Saturday’s Drydene 200 from Dover International Speedway was one of the few times Austin Cindric has lost in the NASCAR Xfinity Series the last couple months.
With Justin Allgaier cruising to victory for the first time of 2020, Cindric settled for second spot driving his No. 22 Team Penske Ford.
Despite starting from pole and leading 49 laps on the day, the third-year driver failed to score what would have been a record sixth win in the last seven races. Instead, the 21-year-old grabbed a seventh straight top-two finish in 2020.
“Obviously, it was a great points day in our Mustang,” Cindric said. “It drove great. Hopefully we got some momentum for tomorrow. We’ll try to do better.
“It was a track-position race and if I was going to give myself any shot to win the race, it was going to be on a restart. Finishing second or finishing third nobody really cares. It doesn’t really matter. When you’re NASCAR racing you don’t get a trophy for it and the points are a small difference, so try and win races.”
With a battle on his hands against Allgaier’s Chevrolet throughout the 200-lapper, Cindric praised his competitor’s pace from start to finish.
“I had a great battle there with Justin [Allgaier],” he said. “Obviously, he wanted it really bad. He drove the wheels off that thing. I don’t know if you guys watched my onboard camera much, but he was sideways from the beginning of the run to the end. It was pretty amazing. Props to him and those guys.
“I knew that wasn’t going to be an easy pass. Hopefully, we can take it to him tomorrow.”
Along with another podium result, Saturday was Cindric’s 13th straight race in which he led, further confirming Cindric’s confidence for Sunday’s second ring of the weekend’s doubleheader.
“I feel very blessed to be within a group of guys that feed off each other,” he said. “My guys know how hard I work, whether if it’s working out in the middle of the week or preparation during the week. I know how hard they work at the race shop and the same thing applies when we hit the racetrack.
“I felt like I drove my butt off today and you’ve got to do that every race and that’s what makes this fun, that’s what makes it challenging, so it makes me look forward to tomorrow.”
Cindric will roll off second on the starting grid for Sunday’s Drydene 200, the second race of the series’ doubleheader at Dover.