Ford Performance NASCAR: Cindric and Ford Continue To Roll with Daytona Road Course Win

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang -- VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW -- HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE DAY?  “I’m not sure anyone was really happy with their race car.  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.”

 

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.” 

 

BRIAN WILSON, Crew Chief -- No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang -- “That was an eventful day.  Obviously, staying out there to try to win the first stage, that was not what I wanted to see, but we we’ve definitely been focused on trying to get as many playoff points as we can get, so I’m glad that worked out.  Things got mixed up a little in the second stage.  I don’t feel like once Briscoe got up front, I don’t feel like we had the best car.  He was pretty strong today.  Obviously, it was a good battle, but he was able to pull away from us, so we’ve still got some work to do, but I do think it’s a good statement from our team that we can win even on days when we don’t have the best car.  I do feel like we probably had the second-best -- the two of us were able to pull away over a longer run -- so we’re not far off, but I feel like as a group we’ve got some work to do to make the car better for here.”

 

YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE 74 AND 47 STAYING OUT ON THAT ONE RESTART?  “I’m all for it.  I’ve been on plenty of teams where we’ve called different strategies.  We obviously did it at the end of stage 1 to try to get the playoff point.  Everyone’s got to weigh out what their situations are and what they’re willing to do.  Obviously, those guys thought it was a good move to stay up there.  In that situation, all you can do as a team is try to react to it and make your situation as good as you can.  You’ve got to think that’s gonna happen at some point in the race, where you’re gonna be on a different strategy.  I think that’s part of what stage racing does and the number of tires we have in this series.  That adds to a lot of the strategy and I like the fact that we have those options, so I can’t really get mad when somebody else takes a different option.”

 

HOW DO YOU LOOK AT THE DOVER DOUBLEHEADER NEXT WEEKEND?  “I’m excited about it.  If my math is right, I think we should have the number one stall and should start up front.  We’ve been using these doubleheaders as a way to try and learn something when we don’t have practice, so we’ll try to build off of our setup from last year for the first race, and then we’ll have a package ready to go for the second race to try to learn something to make our team better.”

 

HOW DO YOU WORK WITH A YOUNG DRIVER IN TRYING TO MAINTAIN THEIR EMOTIONS?  “I don’t ever think that emotion is a bad thing.  We’re all heavily invested in this.  It’s an emotional sport and we all want to win.  Right now, we’re going head-to-head with our Ford teammate week in and week out and I think that’s gonna continue through the year.  Austin and Chase have raced really hard for a lot of years.  Austin has called him like a brother and they raced like brothers, so it’s okay to get mad and upset like that.  Austin reigned it in really quick.  I think he did a good job of that.  If there’s anything that as a team we need to work on we’ll talk about that behind closed doors, but I liked the fact he was able to bring it back in really quick and execute at the end of the race.”

 

WHAT DOES THIS TEAM NEED TO DO TO MAINTAIN ITS MOMENTUM?  “It’s tough.  That’s what you worry about when you go on a streak like this where we’ve been winning so much.  Are the other guys gonna catch up?  What do we have to do to keep the hammer down and try to keep the momentum for the playoffs.  The playoff points help a lot.  We’re at a point now where I feel like if we’re able to close out this regular season, we should have plenty of points to carry us through.  It’s almost gonna be a race worth of points that we have going into the playoffs, so that’s gonna be huge.  The biggest thing is, like I said about the Dover weekend, we’ve got to try to keep learning as much as we can with limited practice, so using those weekends to move the program forward is big for us right now.”

FORD FINISHING RESULTS:

1st -- Austin Cindric

29th -- Chase Briscoe

Ron Fleshman

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2020, Issue 8, Posted 10:53 PM, 08.15.2020