Ford Performance NASCAR: Cindric Run Third in Watkins Glen NXS Race
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Car Shop Ford Mustang --”We just weren’t quite good enough to fire off. I felt like Ty was probably better than me and AJ most of the race, but I gave it my all and took the lead on the restart and probably wasn’t good enough to hold it. We’ll take it and move on. It was a solid day for points with our Carshop Ford Mustang. Like I said, I just wish we would have been able to hold the lead after that restart, but probably not good enough.”
THE MOVE TY MADE ON YOU IS THAT JUST HARD RACING? “Trying to win a race, so I’m not overly bothered by it. I ran him wide in turn one to take the lead. He ran me wide in turn six to take the lead. It’s hard racing. He deserved to win. He was the fastest car and feel like when he had to save fuel he probably saved a bit in his tires. I was trying to catch up, but maybe I should have played that a little bit different. That’s probably my only minor regret in the race, otherwise probably just weren’t quite good enough.”
ARE YOU SURPRISED HOW WELL TY HAS ADAPTED TO THESE CARS SO QUICKLY? “I’m not gonna put myself and AJ on a pedestal. Obviously, we’ve got experience and I expect to run up front every weekend and I expect the Gibbs cars to run up front every weekend no matter who is driving it. It seems like whoever is in that 54 car is doing a great job. Not to take credit away from Ty, obviously he’s got a lack of experience and he’s done a great job with the track time that he’s had. Like I said, you can’t take anything away from him. He’s in victory lane and that’s what we’re all here to do. He beat all of us.”
WAS YOUR MOVE IN TURN ONE A RACING MOVE IN THE SENSE IT’S A FEW LAPS TO GO OR HIS CAR IS A LITTLE STRONGER AND YOU HAD TO MAKE YOUR MOVE THERE? “I felt like the three of us were really equally matched. We could run in a train together, but it’s hard to pass here, so knowing my opportunity is on a restart you’ve got to take advantage of that. He gave me the bottom, which I felt like I had shown the outside was the best place to be, but you’re a fender away from the outside not being the best place to be and I lost a race this year putting myself on the outside. Luckily for Ty, there’s ample runoff through here and he’s got another shot. I don’t know. It’s just hard racing. I took my shot.”
THE 54 HAS WON THIS RACE EIGHT TIMES IN THE LAST 10 STARTS HERE. IS IT GETTING FRUSTRATING THAT IT’S THE SAME CAR, BUT WITH THREE DIFFERENT DRIVERS? “For a while it’s like, ‘They’re taking points away from other guys.’ Now it’s like, ‘All right, they’re a serious threat for owners points and taking playoff points.’ I feel like without Ty today I probably could have stayed in front of AJ, so, I don’t know. It’s another car on the racetrack and you’ve got to beat all of them. They’re doing a great job.”
INDY NEXT WEEK. HOW BIG IS THAT RACE TO YOU AND TEAM PENSKE? “It’s incredibly important anytime you go to Indy. Obviously, I’ve got a pretty strong connection to Indy racing for Roger. Even before he owned the place it was pretty significant going there, so I’m excited for the weekend. A very busy weekend for me and just looking forward to having two fast Ford Mustangs and getting into both races and having a shot.”
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.