Ford Performance NASCAR: Cindric Leads Ford with Runner-Up NXS Finish in Charlotte

AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 CarQuest Auto Parts Ford Mustang -- “We really picked residency in P4 for much of the day, so, honestly, all in all P2 is not bad. You obviously want to win the race and we put ourselves in position to have a shot and some days that’s all you can ask for.  I’m happy to get the CarQuest Ford Mustang up with a chance.  We were carrying 30 names of fallen heroes from the CarQuest family on the back of our car, so happy to represent them well today and move on to next week.  One for the notebook.”

HOW MUCH DID THE TRACK CHANGE?  “A little and none.  It was definitely a challenge and I thought I figured things out, but even when you did it was hard to gauge what lane was gonna launch and what lane wasn’t gonna launch and, for me, I was willing to go for broke as far as what lane was gonna give me a chance to win the race and block the dirty air out.  I didn’t think we were the best car by any means, but we gave ourselves a chance.”

CHASE BRISCOE, No. 99 Production Alliance Group Ford Mustang -- WHAT WAS YOUR VIEW OF THE SITUATION WITH TY GIBBS?  “That last run we just weren’t as good.  We were really good the two previous runs and we tightened up and the track tightened up as well and I was just struggling to even maintain my lead.  I knew about lap 10 of that run I was gonna be in trouble just because I was already building tight.  Ty was gonna get me, I think, either way.  It’s unfortunate.  I don’t know if he got into me or not, I haven’t seen it yet, but unfortunate that we ended up running sixth instead of second.  I’m thankful for the opportunity as always.  It’s always fun to come back in the XFINITY Series.  It was cool to have Production Alliance Group back on the car and Tex-a-Con and all the people that allowed me to do this race.  I wish we obviously could have got in victory lane.  It’s frustrating to lead that many laps and come away sixth, but that’s part of it.  He’s going for a win.  I’m going for a win and there’s gonna be contact in close racing.  I can’t complain either way.”

RILEY HERBST, No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang -- “That was probably the difference at the end for a good finish.  We just somehow got the right-front cut down, but, overall, it was a pretty big learning day.  We led some laps, qualified on the pole, but just struggled in traffic and fought balance.” 

DO YOU FEEL THIS WEEKEND WAS A STEP FORWARD?  “I’d like to think so.  I wish we could have been more competitive in the stage ends and things like that, but, overall, I think we’re making steps in the right direction.”

RYAN SIEG, No. 39 CMR Construction and Roofing/A-Game Ford Mustang -- “We were just trying to do something different, trying to get our CMR Ford in victory lane.  That’s all we’re trying to focus on and just lost it on our own.  I was just trying to go as easy as I could because I knew we were gonna be on edge with being full of fuel and on old tires.  We were just trying to survive and hopefully get a caution with 15 or 20 to go and it didn’t work out.”


CAN YOU TAKE US THROUGH YOUR RACE?  “Talking to everyone it sounds like we were the most boring race car on the racetrack.  We took up residency with P4 throughout the entire race.  If that meant I had a good restart, or if that meant I had a bad restart. If that meant I had a good pit stop or a bad pit stop, we always seemed to be fourth.  I don’t feel like we were good enough to really make moves to get to the front, but we were good enough to maintain where we were, so definitely some more for us to gain, but, overall, really well executed day.  I can’t really complain.  This track has really been a thorn in my side a lot of my career, so kind of happy just to check that off.  I still think we need some more speed to be where the 99 and some of the JGR cars were today, so definitely some data points for us.”

HOW BIG IS IT TO HAVE NINE TOP-5 FINISHES IN 12 STARTS?  “It’s great because it’s consistency.  It shows that we can do it every weekend and that regular season points, I said it last year and I’ll say it again this year is very, very -- I mean, it’s three wins.  Do you know how hard it is to win three races?  It’s really hard.  That’s all I’ve won this year.  That’s a lot, so that’s partially if not the reason why I made it to Phoenix in the first place, so I’m definitely very focused on being consistent every week and trying not to let trying to win races cloud my judgment because it has in the past, and I think it has for others as well and we’re obviously doing a really great job and I think we need to get better on these mile-and-a-halves.  We’ve had some struggled on pit road.  Today was a positive day, so just chipping away at the little things.”

DO YOU THINK THE REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP IS OVERLOOKED IN NASCAR?  “It is the most important thing to the people that get it.  To the outside world it definitely doesn’t seem as celebrated is maybe the right way to put it, but the importance of it is massive, so I don’t think that can be understated, at least from the person who gets it.”

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU’RE GOING TO DO TOMORROW TO SOAK IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE INDY 500?  “Yeah, I’m really excited.  I’ve got a 7 o’clock flight, so I’m really happy that there was no weather today, so I can go and do that.  I’ve got my bags packed.  They’re in my car.  I’m ready to go, ready to get out of here and go enjoy it.  I was so pumped watching Carb Day practice.  It seems like the lower temperatures with their current aero package, they seemed to race really well.  It seems like our guys had a lot of speed, so excited to cheer those guys on and, like I said, and really embrace that.  That race has meant a lot to my family and it’s kind of been a pillar, at least for the four of us -- me, myself, my brother, my dad and my mom.  It’s what we do every year.  That’s a guarantee, so I’ve been joking about it.  I said it last week.  I expect this to be my last time on the grid on race day and the next time will either be when I’m out of a job or in the race, so I’m looking forward to it and hope we can do well.”

MID-OHIO,  DO YOU GO IN THERE THINKING YOU SHOULD BE THE FAVORITE?  “Yeah, it’s one of my favorite racetracks.  We’ve obviously run really well there in the past.  We should probably have two wins and not one, but, overall, it’s somewhere we’ve got a good package and we know we can run well.  I think the JGR cars have been really, really strong on road courses and obviously Ty has done a great job, so I think he’ll be a challenge.  I’m not taking any guarantees by any means, but it’s definitely a racetrack I feel comfortable at.”

WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN FROM TY THIS YEAR?  HAS HIS PERFORMANCE SURPRISED YOU?  “He’s putting numbers on the board.  Obviously, the guys that are driving the same are doing the same, but for him he’s checking all the boxes and that’s all you can ask out of a guy like that.  As long as you’re learning from the bad days and making the most of the good ones, I think you saw that today.  He made the most out of what I thought was one of the best race cars, so good for him.  It’s definitely a challenge.  I don’t think it’s a mystery that I struggled when I first came into the series, but I feel like my knowledge base is different.  Everyone learns at a different pace and he’s obviously doing exceptionally well.”

ord Finishing Results:

2nd -- Austin Cindric

6th -- Chase Briscoe

12th  -- Riley Herbst

31st -- Ryan Sieg

Ron Fleshman

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

Read More on Cup / XFINITY / Truck press releases
Volume 2021, Issue 5, Posted 5:11 PM, 05.29.2021