Cindric Wins NASCAR Xfinity Race on Daytona Road Course

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - AUGUST 15: Austin Cindric, driver of the #22 MoneyLion Ford, crosses the finish line winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series UNOH 188 at Daytona International Speedway on August 15, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Right now, at least in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series, it’s Austin Cindric’s world, everybody else just lives in it.  Cindric became the first winner on the Daytona Road Course Saturday and his second win on a road course having won at Road America a week prior.

Cindric took the lead for the final time on a chaotic restart with five laps to go emerging from a pack of cars coming out of the first turn in second place taking the lead back from Brandon Jones shortly after and never looked back.

He won by 7.108 seconds over Jones, with Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger and Andy Lally completing the top five.

“I’m not sure anyone was really all that happy with their race cars you know, unfortunately I have the perspective of driving really fast race cars at this track,” said Cindric, who has competed in three Rolex 24 at Daytona IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship races on the road course.

“It’s a great credit to my team, MoneyLion and the guys. … That’s five wins on the year obviously back-to-back now. I didn’t feel like I drove my best today but we executed there at the end when it counts and that’s what makes these races so difficult to win.

Like Road America, Cindric’s biggest challenger was Chase Briscoe.  After a delay of one hour, 50 minutes by lightning strikes just before pre-race ceremonies, Cindric led from pole and kept the spot for the first 15 laps winning Stage 1.

It was Chase Briscoe who won Stage 2, taking the top spot on lap 18 when Gragson spun from the lead in Turn 5, holding the lead then holding off Cindric in a chaotic final lap of the stage battle.

Briscoe would lead a race-high 26 laps but was swept up in a crash on a restart with six laps to go.  He wound up 29th in the final rundown.

“I felt like we were in the best position to win after the last pit stop,” Briscoe said. “We had worked on the car all race and Richard Boswell (crew chief) and the guys did a great job of getting it to turn better. I knew I had more I could do on those final laps to make sure we stayed ahead of everyone, but I needed to clear the two cars on the front row pretty quickly if I wanted to get back to the lead. That didn’t really go as planned, which ended up being the end of our day. I hate that it happened for everyone on this team and everybody at HighPoint, but I feel like we are at least back to running how we should.

Jeremy Clements was sixth with Riley Herbst, Harrison Burton, Justin Allgaier and Myatt Snider rounding out the top 10.

Cindric’s fifth win in the last six Xfinity Series races ties a mark set by Sam Ard in 1983.

 

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – AUGUST 15: Austin Cindric, driver of the #22 MoneyLion Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series UNOH 188 at Daytona International Speedway on August 15, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Results UNOH 188
Daytona International Speedway Road Course
Daytona Beach, Florida
Saturday, August 15, 2020

1. (1)  Austin Cindric, Ford, 52.

2. (10)  Brandon Jones, Toyota, 52.

3. (3)  Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 52.

4. (11)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 52.

5. (6)  Andy Lally, Chevrolet, 52.

6. (18)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 52.

7. (15)  Riley Herbst #, Toyota, 52.

8. (9)  Harrison Burton #, Toyota, 52.

9. (17)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 52.

10. (27)  Myatt Snider #, Chevrolet, 52.

11. (8)  Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 52.

12. (19)  Josh Bilicki, Toyota, 52.

13. (22)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 52.

14. (34)  Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 52.

15. (7)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 52.

16. (32)  Jade Buford, Chevrolet, 52.

17. (26)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 52.

18. (24)  Jesse Little #, Chevrolet, 52.

19. (30)  Scott Heckert, Toyota, 52.

20. (33)  BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 52.

21. (21)  Stephen Leicht, Toyota, 52.

22. (36)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 52.

23. (31)  Kody Vanderwal #, Chevrolet, 52.

24. (14)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 52.

25. (20)  Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 52.

26. (25)  Joe Graf Jr #, Chevrolet, 51.

27. (16)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 50.

28. (37)  Brandon Gdovic, Toyota, Accident, 47.

29. (2)  Chase Briscoe, Ford, Accident, 46.

30. (35)  Bobby Reuse, Toyota, 46.

31. (12)  Preston Pardus, Chevrolet, Accident, 45.

32. (28)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 43.

33. (29)  Earl Bamber, Chevrolet, Accident, 41.

34. (13)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, Axle, 40.

35. (38)  Harold Crooms, Toyota, Brakes, 36.

36. (4)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 34.

37. (23)  Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, Accident, 14.

38. (5)  Justin Haley, Chevrolet, Suspension, 11.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  81.894 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 17 Mins, 32 Secs. Margin of Victory:  7.108 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 8 laps.

Lead Changes:  7 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Cindric 1-16;N. Gragson 17;C. Briscoe 18-31;J. Bilicki 32;C. Briscoe 33-44;B. Currey(i) 45;B. Jones 46-47;A. Cindric 48-52.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Chase Briscoe 2 times for 26 laps; Austin Cindric 2 times for 21 laps; Brandon Jones 1 time for 2 laps; Bayley Currey(i) 1 time for 1 lap; Noah Gragson 1 time for 1 lap; Josh Bilicki 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 22,9,07,18,21,7,98,68,1,02

Stage #2 Top Ten: 98,22,20,16,02,36,21,19,7,18