Ford Performance NASCAR: Dover (Cindric Pilots Mustang to Victory at Monster Mile)

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
NASCAR XFINITY Series — Drydene 200
Dover International Speedway | Saturday, May 15, 2021

Ford Finishing Results
1st – Austin Cindric
8th – Ryan Sieg
17th – Riley Herbst

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Car Shop Ford Mustang — Finished 1st

WE DIDN’T SEE THE STRENGTH OUT OF YOU AND YOUR CAR UNTIL THE SECOND HALF OF THE RACE. AT WHAT POINT DID YOU REALIZE YOU HAD THE CAR TO GET THE JOB DONE? “Honestly, from the get-go. It is hard to believe but starting 16th at this joint it isn’t easy to pass. We just kept at it the whole time. We made the right adjustments on pit stops and I feel like I have learned a lot about this race track, enough to get the Car Shop Ford Mustang into victory lane.”

YOU HAD AN EARLY INCIDENT WITH TY GIBBS THAT COULD HAVE CHANGED THIS OUTCOME: “It wasn’t an incident but it was this close to being an incident. For his sake, he is a rookie and he is learning. Hopefully, he learns something from it and doesn’t do it again.”

WHAT MAKES THIS WIN SO SPECIAL FOR YOU? “Every win means so much and everyone that is in this series — I have the unique opportunity to know what I am doing in the future. I respect the guys that I am racing around are trying to get to the top level. I know I have that for me down the road but I have to bring that same energy that I am racing against. These wins are really hard to come by. It sucks that we have had some bad races recently that make this one feel so much better. This is my favorite race track that we go to.”

POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE

YOU SAID IN VICTORY LANE THAT THIS PLACE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE AND YOU LOVE COMING HERE. WHY? “There are just very few places that really have the same intensity throughout a lap. It is quite challenging to race here. We were able to make it back from 16th starting position today which I knew would be our biggest challenge throughout the course of the race. We were able to pick our way through. Ever since the first time I came here in the truck this place has kind of wowed me. I have had the opportunity to drive at some really cool race tracks in my life and my career. Anywhere you can add elevation changes and have that intensity and something that makes you beg to get around to the next lap is what makes a race track fun and inviting, at least for me. We have had a Dover race twice on the Xfinity schedule since I started racing Xfinity and we took one off the schedule and I really wanted to win here so bad. I had to not let that desire cloud my judgment today because I knew we had a tough task ahead of us. To get the opportunity on the restart and showcase our car in clean air means the world to me. I am very, very excited.”

YOU WERE NOT THE BEST CAR FOR A LOT OF THIS RACE. HOW DID YOU STAY CALM AND WHAT DID YOU NEED TO GET THAT CAR WHERE IT WAS AT THE END? “It was a good thing that the near incident was at the stage end because I definitely did not remain calm for the two laps after that. Past that, I thought we had a really great race car. Clean air was so important and I think you saw that. We didn’t make too many adjustments on that final stop. Brian and I knew what we needed to do for that long of a run and what our strengths were in our car. Our package here has been really refined since I started driving with this program. I am glad that we can continue to get that correct and make small improvements and the communication is there and experience is there between the two of us. It seems like we were able to make the right adjustments and capitalize the most and execute as a team. Once you get clean air you got to see how fast a car was. I am glad I got to as well.”

DID YOU KNOW IF THOSE CHANGES WERE MADE ON THE LAST PIT STOP THAT YOU WOULD BE AS GOOD AS YOU WERE? “I think clean air made me look really good. I thought we had a great race car and I was able to get tucked up behind people all day. I think Brian and I have great communication as well as my spotter, Coleman, and we talk about these things before the race so that we don’t really have to project our feelings. We kept up with the race track and did our jobs. To me, that is what it takes to be the best at the highest level. I am glad we got to practice that and I feel like that was a catalyst for us to be able to execute the rest of the race today. A couple of good restarts and fast race cars make a big difference.”

YOU WERE VERY DISCIPLINED IN HOW YOU WANTED TO MAKE CHANGES ON YOUR CAR TODAY, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT? “We have to trust each other. Brain and I have worked together for the last three years in this series and more. If he makes a pit call and I don’t disagree with it, then I am going to follow that direction. If I feel the car needs to be a certain way, he is going to follow me. It is that trust that really matters in this sport with the limited amount of data you have with how the car is driving and the track. I am the best gauge he has, whether he likes it or not. That trust is very important. I think we bit ourselves by maybe trusting each other a little too much at Darlington. You would think that would be a fallback for this race at Dover. You just have to reset and hit the ground running. I am proud we had that reset. We had a really tough race at Darlington and it affected where we started this race. Trust goes a really long way in this industry and sport and I am glad it paid dividends today.”

HOW CHALLENGING IS IT WITH THE LIMITED DATA AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THAT TOUGH RACE LAST WEEK? “It is the most challenging thing you can have as a young driver. You have to have people that trust you but at the same time you have to have the right information. I feel like when I started doing stock car stuff, I made plenty of mistakes. Charlotte is a perfect example. I have gotten myself way too loose there so many times and I have learned from it. You learn from your mistakes. I have had the great opportunity to go back and not make those same mistakes again. That is how you grow as a team. Brian, Cody and Matt and the guys on the 22 team can see that I have learned those things. That is how you develop trust. It does take some time and we have a lot of experience together. Probably for the first time in my career that is now an advantage. That is nice. That is fun. It is fun to see the other side because I have been on the backside of it a lot more than the front side. It is great to take advantage of that and know our prep work pays off. As for Darlington, we shouldn’t have pitted at the end of the race and we probably wouldn’t have wrecked and would have had a better starting spot today and salvaged a quality finish. That is something we definitely hashed out between the two of us after that race weekend and you just reset and there is no reason not to trust each other.”

DID THE FACT THAT THE TRACK DIDN’T RUBBER UP UNTIL LATE IN THE RACE FACTOR IN YOUR DECISIONS TO PUT OFF THE CHANGES UNTIL LATER? “You nailed it. There were so many cautions today early in the race that the track never had the opportunity to change other than the ambient track temps. Past that, it didn’t change a whole lot until the final stage. Like I said, I have been here enough to kind of feel out what those changes do and Brian and I had a list of things we wanted to do if certain changes happened. I am glad we were able to execute on those and keep up with the track.”

HOW COOL IS IT HAVING YOUR VERY OWN MILES THE MONSTER NOW? “You can see I have it sitting in my lap like a child or a dog. I am not going to let it get too far out of my sight. This is one I have wanted for a really long time. Ever since I came to this race track. I always tell people, especially people that don’t know too much about NASCAR, that if I was to put a second seat in a race car at any track we go to, it would be this place. There is nowhere cooler. Dropping off 20-feet into the corner and committing to full throttle before you can see the exit. It is really unforgiving and the track changes a ton. I have learned a ton at this track with changing track conditions. It is really cool to get it done and we only had one opportunity to get it done this year. We were starting 16th and the only thing that gave me confidence was when I woke up this morning and read Twitter and saw that Bob Pockrass picked me to win. I figured he knew something that I didn’t. I am glad you were right, Bob. He usually is right, so keep doing that.”

DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF THE FAVORITE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? DOES IT FEEL MORE WIDE OPEN THAN LAST YEAR? “I think the players up front every race are different. I think my mentality can not change from last year. it is all about getting to Phoenix, whether that is regular-season points or being solid in the playoffs and then once you get to Phoenix, you have to have your best day. you can’t do that unless you get there. That is my mentality. I am not saying that we don’t have a lot of momentum as a team. We are obviously doing a lot of great things with three wins already on the year. That is great, but we can’t slow down. Everyone else will keep getting better as well. So there is no resting.”



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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