Team Penske NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Report
Track: Martinsville Speedway
Race: Cook Out 250
Date: April 11, 2021
No. 22 Menards/Richmond Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 2nd
Stage 2: 16th
Laps Completed: 250/250
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (ahead of second): 1st (+42)
- Austin Cindric and the No. 22 Menards/Richmond team finished the rain-delayed Cook Out 250 in the sixth position Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway. With yet another top-10 finish on the year, the driver of the No. 22 Ford Mustang continues to lead the driver point standings, 42 markers ahead of second place.
- Friday night’s starting lineup was once again set per the NASCAR rule book, which gave Cindric the sixth starting position. During the first 60-lap stage, the defending Xfinity Series Champion ran inside the top five in the caution-filled segment, but as the run progressed, Cindric’s Mustang built tight. Despite the tight conditions, Cindric was able to race his way to the second position at the conclusion of the initial stage. Crew chief Brian Wilson called his driver to pit road at the stage caution for four tires, fuel, and adjustments.
- With a mixture of pit strategy throughout the field, Cindric restarted the second stage 16th. The Mooresville N.C., native was running in the top 10 by lap 78 and had some of the fastest laps on track. The sixth caution of the race was displayed shortly after for weather, but the persistent rain forced NASCAR to postpone the Cook Out 250 until Sunday afternoon, with Cindric scored eighth.
- Once the race resumed on under sunny skies, Cindric quickly raced his way to the fourth position and finished the second stage 16th. Wilson elected to stay out during the stage caution which allowed his driver to restart seventh. Over a series of cautions, Cindric eventually made it back to the runner up position.
- The 11th caution was shown with 75 laps remaining allowing Wilson to call his driver to pit road for the final set of tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Cindric restarted eighth but got trapped on the outside lane losing track position. He was able to battle back to the sixth position where he took the checkered flag.
Quote: “We picked right up where we left off Friday night. We had a great Menards Richmond Ford Mustang. I can’t help but think today was a missed opportunity with the way things shook out. There were some slower cars that took up the first few rows on one of the final restarts after we got a set of tires and I chose the wrong lane, got caught behind the wrong guys and lost a lot of spots. That pretty much buried us and we were able to drive back up through but not enough. I thought we were good enough to contend for a win today and I think we showed that but you have to have the track position here. I am a little disappointed but it was good to have a fast race car at an important track in the playoffs.”