Austin Cindric takes dominant Xfinity win at Mid-Ohio
Austin Cindric led 47 of 75 laps at Mid-Ohio en route to his second consecutive victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Cindric cruised to the checkered flag at Mid-Ohio, his second career victory coming just one week after his first at Watkins Glen International.
The Team Penske driver crossed the finish line 3.7 seconds clear of Christopher Bell. A.J. Allmendinger finished third, Tyler Reddick fourth and Noah Gragson fifth.
"It feels so good ... these guys are the best," said Cindric. "Thank you for bringing me a great car again this year. I'm having so much fun. Hell of a job by Christopher Bell. He did a great job keeping me honest all day. Man it feels good, two in-a-row."
Cindric led the race from the get-go after securing pole position. The first caution came early in Stage 1 for the stalled car of Ray Black Jr, but the stage went green from that point onward.
While battling for third place, Cole Custer and Jack Hawksworth collided in the final corner and both went spinning.
Although he led nearly every lap of the opening stage, Cindric did not take the green and white checkered flag first as he and several others opted to short-pit.
This allowed Chase Briscoe to inherit the race lead and take the stage win over Gragson, Jeremy Clements, Brandon Jones, Ryan Sieg, Custer, Michael Annett, Lawson Aschenbach, Scott Heckert and Josh Bilicki.
Cindric briefly stalled after his stop and it cost him track position to Bell, who would become the race leader after the first stage. Briscoe restarted back in 13th after winning Stage 1.
Bell led until a caution for Brandon Brown, who spun off into the gravel and needed to be retrieved. The following restart resulted in another quick yellow as Chris Dyson sustained heavy front-end damage in a stack-up and came to a stop in Turn 1.
The stage came down to a four-lap shootout, but that did not last either as JR Motorsports teammates Justin Allgaier and Gragson went spinning in the Keyhole. The incident collected several other drivers and forced another yellow.
The stage would not resume and Hawksworth would take the stage win after passing Bell moments before the caution. Bell ended the stage in second followed by Cindric, Tyler Reddick, Allmendinger, Gray Gaulding, Sieg, Justin Haley, John-Hunter Nemechek, and Tommy Joe Martins.
The strategy was split during the stage break as Michael Annett and Brandon Jones opted for no tires. Other cars stayed out entirely and set-up a hectic restart. Cindric quickly weaved his way through the pack and reclaimed the race lead ahead of Bell and Allmendinger.
With 19 laps to go, Heckert went off into the gravel and brought out the final caution of the race. Most of the field used this as an opportunity to pit for fresh rubber, but three drivers decided to stay out.
They were Regan Smith, Will Rodgers and Briscoe, but they were not able to hold position for long. Cindric was able to take the lead from Briscoe with a bold pass around the outside and never looked back.
The victory makes Cindric just one of four Xfinity Series drivers to win multiple races this season.
|18||66||Tommy Joe Martins||Toyota||75||42.223|
|19||07||Ray Black Jr.||Chevrolet||75||55.164|
|23||99||Patrick Gallagher||Toyota||74||1 lap|
|24||68||Brandon Brown||Chevrolet||74||1 lap|
|25||5||Vinnie Miller||Toyota||74||1 lap|
|26||15||B.J. McLeod||Chevrolet||73||2 laps|
|27||42||Timmy Hill||Toyota||65||10 laps|
|28||4||Lawson Aschenbach||Chevrolet||63||12 laps|
|29||78||Scott Heckert||Toyota||57||18 laps|
|30||74||Aaron Quine||Chevrolet||42||33 laps|
|31||23||John Hunter Nemechek||Chevrolet||41||34 laps|
|32||01||Stephen Leicht||Chevrolet||36||39 laps|
|33||52||David Starr||Chevrolet||36||39 laps|
|34||90||Chris Dyson||Chevrolet||31||44 laps|
|35||13||Chad Finchum||Toyota||13||62 laps|
|36||35||Joey Gase||Toyota||8||67 laps|
|37||38||J.J. Yeley||Chevrolet||2||73 laps|
|38||53||Max Tullman||Chevrolet||2||73 laps|
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