Five of Six for Cindric at Daytona

Briscoe and Cindric battled most of the race

(DAYTONA BEACH, FL - AUG 15, 2020 - RIS) Austin Cindric added another notch to his record in winning the fifth of his last six races, taking the checkered flag at the UNOH 188, the first NASCAR Xfinity Series race on the Daytona road course. The win marked Cindrics' fifth win in the last six series races, matching Sam Ard's 1983 record in the series. Cindric's win was not without drama as he was under pressure from Chase Briscoe who led most of, and won the second stage and led much of the final stage. "I'm not sure anyone was really happy with their race car," said Cindric after the race. "Unfortunately, I have a tough perspective of driving really fast high-grip race cars at this track, but great credit to my team -- the MoneyLion guys -- and everyone that puts this together -- Ford Performance, Roush Yates Engines, obviously everyone at Team Penske for workig hard. That's five wins on the year and back-to-back now. I'm really proud of that. I didn't feel like I drove my best today, but we executed there at the end where it counts and that's what makes these races so difficult to win."

Starting under the damp track rule after a delay caused by lightning in the area, the UNOH 188 NASCAR Xfinity Series race had the field faced with the decision whether or not to pit for rain tires before the green flag. A few teams opted to change to treaded tires but the majority threw the dice and stayed on slicks. Leader Austin Cindric stayed on slicks while second place starter Chase Briscoe opted for treaded rain tires. Briscoe won the ROVAL race at Charlotte in 2018 and the Indianapolis road course race.

On the start, Cindric and Briscoe both slipped wide, allowing Noah Gragson to take the lead but Cindric drove around him entering the banking. Then he missed the second part of the front straight chicane and had to come to a full stop before continuing the lap.

Cindric's lead grew by about a half second a lap for the first few laps of the race, with AJ Allmendinger taking over second place ahead of Gragson and Ross Chastain.

The first caution of the race flew when Justin Haley dropped a wheel off in the bus stop chicane, something in the driveline broke and the car stalled at the entry to the front straight chicane, needing a push to the garage.

Justin Allgaier's crew called him to the pits before the caution flew, moving him well back in the standings. Unfortunately, the gas man couldn't get the can out of the car and NASCAR penalized the team one lap. Road race specialist Andy Lally had been complaining of no forward bite and the crew made wholesale changes. On the restart, with one lap left in the first stage, Daniel Hemric got tapped in the middle of the pack and slid off into a barrier, ending his race.

Cindric, Annett, Buford and a few others pitted but most of the field stayed on the track, shuttling Cindric way back in the field. Gragson led the restart, w2ith Herbst and New Zealander Earl Bamber next. Bamber is a two-time winner at LeMans

Bamber tapped Herbst on entry to the hairpin, then Gragson overdrove the kink and spun off into the barrier but continued as a caution flew almost immediately for a couple of stalled cars. The caution allowed Allgaier to earn a free pass back onto the lead lap after his penalty. He pitted for a suspected flat spotted tire but remained on the lead lap.

The International Horseshoe saw Tommy Joe Martins spin in the middle of a crowd without causing a caution. 

Briscoe and Bamber headed the field on the restart and Cindric stormed the outside of the first turn to move into fifth place before the infield exit in just one lap. Approaching the end of the second stage, Cindric moved to within a tick of Chase Briscoe with Briscoe seeming to have occasional brake lockups entering turns while Cindric's car looked steady and smooth.

Cindric took the lead from Briscoe entering the final infield turn then Briscoe retook the lead in the bus stopand the pair ran under the stage two ending checkered flag nose to tail with Briscoe just ahead of the driver he admits helped teach him road racing techniques.

Cindric was upset with Briscoe's blocking moves and tossed a water bottle out the window, then on the restart, he overshot the first turn and lost several positions but got back to second place before the turn onto the banking.

With ten laps left in the race, Bamber missed the bus stop chicane, smashing the right front corner of the car, hitting the tire barrier and then pulling off onto the grass with no oil pressure, causing a late race caution to retrieve the car and clean debris off the chicane. The caution allowed teams with fuel doubts to reset, with Briscoe leading almost the entire field down pit road. Briscoe headed the pack onto the track, followed by CIndric with Brandon Jones and Andy Lally. The three Currey, Weatherman and Snider cars stayed out, forcing Briscoe to line up on the outside of the second row then the predictable melee on the restart sent Briscoe spinning with heavy damage. Cindric managed to sneak through with minimal contact as Brandon Jones got into the lead as another multi-car fracas on the restart shuffled the pack but all continued. Cindric made full use of brakes and handling to pass Jones to take the lead approaching four laps left.

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang -- VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW -- FIFTEEN YEARS BEFORE YOU WERE BORN SAM ARD WON 5 OUT OF 6 XFINITY RACES AND NOW YOU'VE DONE THAT. "Yeah, it's incredible and takes great race cars and executing races. I'm proud to be driving this 22 car and contending for wins week to week. There's still a lot of work to do, but this is great for the points for sure."

HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE DAY AND WHAT YOU HAD TO DEAL WITH? "I think we dug ourselves two holes there. Staying out got us a good stage point there. That's important and then I probably grabbed a shovel and dug us a little bit bigger of a hole there on the restart in trying to win that second stage. That put us behind a little bit and maybe I wasn't able to be as ahead of my adjustments, but, overall, I'm super-excited for five wins on the year so far and adding to the points. To get MoneyLion in VIctory Lane again at Daytona of all places, I wish there were fans here to see this race because it was a thriller."

THE END OF STAGE TWO WAS PHYSICAL BETWEEN YOU AND CHASE. "Yeah, I think there was give-and-take available on both ends. I probably could have been a bit more patient judging that second stage and I think he could have been a little less aggressive on his defense, but, overall, it's two brothers fighting and then they go yell at mom saying it was his fault. It's easy for me to say because I was the winner of the race, but he drove a great race and obviously wasn't able to survive that turn one carnage."

TAKE US THROUGH GOING INTO TURN ONE ON THAT ONE RESTART? "A lot of the restarts I kind of learned by my own mistakes as far as trying to drive it in deep three-wide. There was less and less grip it seemed like there as the race went on, or maybe patience went out the window. I saw guys lock up tires and I was fortunate enough to be on the inside and not get collected and was able to get a good restart and come away with it."

THE PASS FOR THE WIN WASN'T EASY. "I probably scared him. I got a whole ton of wheel-hop in turn six. I thought I was gonna clean us both out, but he did a great job driving smart there. It was fun. He was driving hard and came up with a good finish, so good job to those guys. Hopefully, we can have more fun in Dover."

Unofficial Results, UNOH 188, Daytona International Speedway Road Course - 3.61 mile 

Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 1, Austin Cindric, No. 22 MoneyLion Ford, 52, 1, 2, 2, 21, 6, 59, Running
2) 10, Brandon Jones, No. 19 Menards/Inspire Toyota, 52, , 8, 1, 2, , 38, Running
3) 3, Noah Gragson, No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber Camo Chevrolet, 52, 2, , 1, 1, , 43, Running
4) 11, AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Ellsworth Advisors Chevrolet, 52, , 4, , , , 40, Running
5) 6, Andy Lally, No. 02 Knockaround Chevrolet, 52, 10, 5, , , , 39, Running
6) 18, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 All South Electric Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 31, Running
7) 15, Riley Herbst #, No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota, 52, 4, 10, , , , 38, Running
8) 9, Harrison Burton #, No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota, 52, , 3, , , , 37, Running
9) 17, Justin Allgaier, No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet, 52, 6, 9, , , , 35, Running
10) 27, Myatt Snider #, No. 93 The Original Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 27, Running
11) 8, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 CMRRoofing.com Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 19, Josh Bilicki, No. 99 Insurance King/Rock'n Vodka Toyota, 52, , , 1, 1, , 25, Running
13) 22, Tommy Joe Martins, No. 44 AAN Adjusters Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 24, Running
14) 34, Bayley Currey(i), No. 74 We Stand for the National Anthem Chevrolet, 52, , , 1, 1, , 0, Running
15) 7, Michael Annett, No. 1 Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet, 52, 9, , , , , 24, Running
16) 32, Jade Buford, No. 07 Big Machine Distillery Chevrolet, 52, 3, , , , , 29, Running
17) 26, Kyle Weatherman, No. 47 We Stand for the National Anthem Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 24, Jesse Little #, No. 4 JD Motorsports Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 30, Scott Heckert, No. 78 Koolbox Ice Toyota, 52, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 33, BJ McLeod, No. 6 Florida Sherriffs Youth Ranches Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 21, Stephen Leicht, No. 61 JANIKING Toyota, 52, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 36, Matt Mills, No. 5 Thompson Electric/JF Electric Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 31, Kody Vanderwal #, No. 52 ADVANCED DAIRY SERVICES Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 14, Josh Williams, No. 92 Alloy/StarTron Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 20, Mike Wallace, No. 0 Unkers Therapeutic/Market Scan Chevrolet, 52, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 25, Joe Graf Jr #, No. 08 Bucked Up Energy Chevrolet, 51, , , , , , 0, Running
27) 16, Alex Labbe, No. 90 Frameco/Prolon/rousseau Chevrolet, 50, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 37, Brandon Gdovic, No. 26 Windstax Energy Toyota, 47, , , , , , 9, Accident
29) 2, Chase Briscoe, No. 98 Highpoint.com Ford, 46, 7, 1, 2, 26, 1, 22, Accident
30) 35, Bobby Reuse, No. 13 ROOFCLAIM.com Toyota, 46, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 12, Preston Pardus, No. 36 Chinchor Electric/Danus Chevrolet, 45, , 6, , , , 11, Accident
32) 28, Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 15 KSDT CPA Chevrolet, 43, , , , , , 5, Running
33) 29, Earl Bamber, No. 21 KCMG Chevrolet, 41, 5, 7, , , , 14, Accident
34) 13, Brandon Brown, No. 68 BMS Chevrolet, 40, 8, , , , , 6, Axle
35) 38, Harold Crooms, No. 66 Unknown BBQ/Maxpay Pawn Toyota, 36, , , , , , 2, Brakes
36) 4, Ross Chastain, No. 10 Moose Fraternity Chevrolet, 34, , , , , , 1, Running
37) 23, Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet, 14, , , , , , 1, Accident
38) 5, Justin Haley, No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 11, , , , , , 1, Suspension
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Race Length: 52 laps, 187.72 miles

Time of Race: 2 hr, 17 min, 32 sec
Average Speed: 81.894 mph
Margin of Victory: 7.108 sec

Stage 1 Top 10: 22, 9, 07, 18, 21, 7, 98, 68, 1, 02
Stage 2 Top 10: 98, 22, 20, 16, 02, 36, 21, 19, 7, 18

Race Comments: Austin Cindric won the UNOH 188 at the DAYTONA Road Course at Daytona International Speedway Road Course, his seventh victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty: Nos. 15, 66 (unapproved adjustments), No. 13 (driver change).

Caution Flags: 7 for 8 laps
Laps: 14-14 (#10 Stopped In Turn 8 [47])
17-17 (Stage 1 Conclusion [74])
19-19 (#9, 15 Stalled On Track [16])
22-22 (Debris From #92 In Turn 11 [51])
32-32 (Stage 2 Conclusion [0])
44-45 (Debris From #21 In Turn 9 [None])
47-47 (#36, 99, 98 Incident Turn 2 [52]).

Lead Changes: 7 among 6 drivers
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.

Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Brandon Jones, #19 
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Riley Herbst, #18 

Sam Ard set the record of five wins in six races over the final six events of the 1983 season, scoring victories at South Boston, Martinsville, Orange County, Charlotte and Martinsville, with Hall of Fame driver Jack Ingram taking the win at Hickory between Charlotte and the season ending event at Martinsville. Ard won the season crown with Ingram second for the year.

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2020, Issue 8, Posted 9:08 PM, 08.15.2020