Team Penske NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Report
Track: Homestead-Miami Speedway
Race: Contender Boats 250
Date: February 27, 2021
No. 22 PPG Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 14th
Stage 2: 1st (Second stage win of 2021)
Laps Completed: 179/179
Laps Led: 63
Point Standings (ahead of second): 1st (+29)
- Austin Cindric led the most laps on the way to scoring a fifth-place finish in the Contender Boats 250 Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The driver of the No. 22 PPG Ford Mustang has top-10 finishes in all five starts at the 1.5-mile speedway. Cindric also won Stage 2, his second stage victory in three races this season. He owns a 29-point lead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings over second-place Myatt Snider
- Cindric started from the pole position after the starting lineup was set per NASCAR rule book. He led the first 30 laps, building up a five-second advantage until a caution on lap 27 slowed the pace. Crew chief Brian Wilson elected to keep Cindric on the track during the yellow, opting to save a set of tires for later in the race. Cindric took the green flag as the leader but couldn’t overcome the disadvantage to the cars with fresher tires. He was credited with a 14th-place finished when Stage 1 ended on lap 40 and pitted during the stage caution for four tires, fuel and lined up 13th when the race went green on lap 47.
- In Stage 2, Cindric raced his way back inside the top-10. He was sixth at the time of the third caution on lap 69. The PPG Ford Mustang lost rear grip during a long run and Wilson called his driver to pit road one lap later for four tires, fuel, and adjustments. Cindric restarted 22nd on lap 74 but quickly stormed his way through the field taking full advantage of his fresh tires. He grabbed the lead on lap 77 and easily won the segment, his second stage win of the season. Wilson made the call to pit for four tires during the stage caution and Cindric restarted second when the race went green on lap 87.
- He grabbed the lead on the restart and led the next 13 laps before another caution set up a round of pit stops among the leaders. Cindric restarted fourth and muscled his way into the lead on lap 102. He remained the leader through the sixth caution on lap 115 but couldn’t get back to the front. Cindric was running sixth with two laps to go when a caution involving leader Noah Gragson pushed the race into NASCAR Overtime. Cindric and the other leaders pitted for tires on lap 168 and Cindric lined up fourth when the race went green on lap 172 but another spin moments after green flag waved forced another restart on lap 177. Cindric was shuffled to the sixth position during the final dash to the checkered flag. Post tech, Cindric was credited with fifth-place to capture his third consecutive top-five finish of the 2021 season.
- The NASCAR Xfinity Series is back in action at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday, March 6, for the Alsco Uniforms 300. Live coverage will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET on FS1. PRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
Quote: “I feel like we probably deserved to finish in the top-five and maybe if we made some different decisions there on the choose (restart lineup), who knows, maybe we would have given ourselves a better shot to win the race with our PPG Ford Mustang. I think we did a pretty good job on strategy. All in all, it was an okay day. We definitely learned a lot and we tried to make a short-run car into a long-run car and we probably just hurt ourselves when the sun went down.”