Team Penske NASCAR Xfinity Race Report
Track: Kansas Speedway
Race: Kansas Lottery 300
Date: October 20, 2018
No. 22 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 39th
Stage 2: 39th
Laps Completed: 0/200
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 8th (-65)
Owner Point Standings (behind first): 4th (-52)
Austin Cindric and the No. 22 Menards/Richmond team recorded a disappointing 39th-place finish after a first-lap accident involving nine competitors during Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway, despite a very fast Ford Mustang.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) rookie started the first race of the Round of Eight in the NXS Playoffs from the fourth position, showing early weekend speed in the No. 22 Ford. At the drop of the green flag, as the field raced into turn two, the third-place car slipped up the track. As the field checked up to avoid collision, Cindric was spun from behind and hit by several other cars, causing significant damage to the No. 22 Ford.
The damage to Cindric’s car was too server to continue the 200-lap, 300-mile race at Kansas and the team was forced to retire early along with two other playoff contenders, the No. 7 of Justin Allgaier and the No. 20 of Christopher Bell.
Due to the disappointing finish, Cindric sits eighth in the NXS Playoffs, 43 points below the cutoff with two races remaining in the Round of Eight. The No. 22 team sits fourth in the owner standings 52 points behind the No. 42 of Chip Ganassi Racing.
Quote: “Well, now I have to go figure out how to win one of the next two races. Three of the strongest cars were just taken out on the first lap. I feel like we had a chance to win the race today. I was really proud of what the Penske guys brought me this weekend, but that is racing. I think this hurts me a lot more than it hurts the 20 and the 7 because they had a huge points cushion and I didn’t. It is that simple. I have to win one of the next two races but we have a pretty good notebook since the 22 car won both Texas and Phoenix in the spring. I have a lot of confidence going into those races.”