Early wreck eliminates future stars from NASCAR Xfinity race

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In what seemed like eons before Saturday’s PowerShares QQQ NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona International Speedway concluded in the late Saturday afternoon, two future stars of the sport made early trips to the garage.

In his first start in the No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, Austin Cindric fought a loose handling condition for the first nine laps. On the 10th circuit, the car broke loose off Turn 4 and triggered an eight-car wreck that brought out the first of a record 12 cautions.

Collected in the accident was the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Christopher Bell, who was an innocent victim of the melee.

Cindric started the race adopting a conservative, patient approach.

“I learned that waiting until the end really isn’t a thing,” Cindric said. “It’s tough, because you just work all year to get prepared, and you work all year trying to find seats to sit in. It’s just unfortunate it only lasts that long. I hate it for the guys on the 60 and anybody else involved. We’ll move on to Atlanta. I look forward to seeing how Chase (Briscoe) and those guys do in the 60.

“I will be in the 12 (for Team Penske). Hopefully, we have a longer race down there. We were a little loose coming off of (Turn) 4, but I need to see a replay to see how close the 18 (Daniel Suarez) was to my door. Those guys were getting pretty aggressive for Lap 10 or wherever we were. It’s unfortunate to be put in that position, but we were just racing.”

Bell was philosophical, understanding the vagaries of restrictor-plate racing.

“Yeah, we get ready for the rest of the season,” he said after exiting the infield care center. “We knew coming into Daytona there could be a mishap. We tested at Atlanta (site of next week’s race) and it’s one of my favorite racetracks so I am excited to get there.”

As to the wreck itself, Bell said: “I didn’t see what happened. There was a car parked in front of me and I ran into him.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.