CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS
RACE: TEXAS GRAND PRIX DATE: MARCH 26, 2023
AUSTIN CINDRIC No. 2 DISCOUNT TIRE FORD MUSTANG
START – 3RD STAGE ONE – 2ND STAGE TWO – 22ND FINISH – 6TH
RACE RUNDOWN: Austin Cindric finished with a respectable sixth-place finish at the end of Sunday’s Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas. The driver of the Discount Tire Ford Mustang was destined for a strong performance in Sunday’s 231.88-mile marathon, starting from third position after a fierce run in qualifying. Cindric wasted little time claiming the lead, doing so during the restart on Lap 5. In a spirited battle for the lead, Cindric remained among the top three throughout the opening segment, finishing Stage 1 in the second position. A lengthy pit stop on Lap 23 caused the driver of the Discount Tire Ford Mustang to lose significant track position, and he ultimately finished Stage 2 22nd in the running order. Cindric hovered around the 20th position early in the final stage, but maneuvered through various late-race cautions to secure his second top-10 finish of the season.
CINDRIC’S THOUGHTS: “Great to lead some laps. Good to be able to show some speed in our Discount Tire Ford Mustang. It’s one of those days where you win or lose as a team. There were quite a few miscues on pit road that probably kept us from having the track position. Then, it’s a fight. Fair recovery to finish sixth. A lot of things had to go our way for those restarts. But for a long, hot day, we never gave up.”
RYAN BLANEY No. 12 MENARDS/KNAUF FORD MUSTANG
START – 38TH STAGE ONE – 27TH STAGE TWO – 34TH FINISH – 21ST
RACE RUNDOWN: Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 team had an up-and-down afternoon at Circuit of The Americas, ultimately concluding with a 21st-place finish. Despite starting towards the back of the field, Blaney made up eight positions on the opening lap and was up 15 spots by lap 10 in 23rd. Following a four-tire stop with a round of adjustments under caution on lap 12, Blaney crossed the line 27th at the end of Stage 1. On lap 17, Blaney was spun by the No. 5 on the entrance of turn 12, sending him into the gravel while sustaining damage to the left rear. Blaney brought the No. 12 Ford Mustang to pit road as the race remained green, causing him to go a lap down in 35th. He eventually rejoined the lead lap via the free pass following a caution on lap 41. With nine laps to go, Blaney broke into the top-15 on the restart before the race went into what would be the first of three overtime attempts. On the first overtime restart, Blaney was turned by the No. 91 at the apex of turn one, causing the left rear tire to go down before the caution flag waved. Blaney battled back through the field on the following two restarts before settling for a 21st-place finish.
BLANEY’S THOUGHTS: “Certainly, wasn’t the day we were looking for. Starting in the back we managed to gain quite a few spots early but got hit really hard in the left rear and had to make repairs. Glad we had a shot late for a decent finish, but those overtime restarts are crazy and sometimes it works out and other times it doesn’t.”
JOEY LOGANO No. 22 SHELL-PENNZOIL FORD MUSTANG
START – 15TH STAGE ONE – 22ND STAGE TWO – 11TH FINISH – 29TH
RACE RUNDOWN: Joey Logano started 15th and finished 29th in a wild Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. The driver of the Shell-Pennzoil Ford Mustang ran amongst the top-10 the majority of the day before late race issues spoiled a good finish. Logano would receive an early pass-thru penalty for shortcutting the esses on lap six. The defending Cup Series champion managed to overcome the time lost to bring home a 22nd-place finish in Stage 1. Using early pit strategy, Logano made his way into the top-10 by lap 24 and brought home an 11th-place finish in Stage 2. He would run as high as second place by lap 41 and would settle in ninth when the caution waved with four laps to go. Logano managed to make it through the carnage of two green-white-checkered restarts, but unfortunately his luck ran out in overtime attempt number three when he was spun out. He would cross the line in 29th position at the race’s end.
LOGANO’S THOUGHTS: “We had a decent day going with the Shell-Pennzoil Mustang. Paul (Wolfe) made some good strategy calls to gain track position. Felt like we had a top-10 car, but depending on how the end played out maybe a top-five. The restarts at the end normally play out that way and we ended up spun out. We’ll move on to Richmond.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Richmond Raceway on Sunday, April 2. Coverage of the event will be carried on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 3:30 p.m. ET.