NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric took up right where he left off last season — in victory lane.
Austin Cindric held off Brett Moffit to win the Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway. It was the first Xfinity Series win at Daytona for legendary team owner Roger Penske.
Penske hired Austin Cindric in 2017 as a development driver and he delivered last season by winning six races and the Xfinity Series championship. He added another big trophy Saturday with a victory at Daytona. Austin Cindric will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut for Team Penske in the Daytona 500 Sunday.
"What an awesome win. An unbelievable effort by everybody at Team Penske. We were coming off a lot of momentum winning that championship last year, but nothing is guaranteed. ... We might as well do it again tomorrow, I guess."
How did Austin Cindric win at Daytona?
Cindric ran near the front throughout the race but trailed leader Harrison Burton when a big crash erupted with six laps remaining. Cindric beat Harrison to the caution flag when the crash occurred, putting him in the lead for the final overtime restart.
Austin Cindric pulled into the lead on the final restart and blocked a move for the lead by Burton on the final lap. Moffitt finished second, followed by Harrison Burton, Jeb Burton and AJ Allmendinger.
The race was marred by several big crashes. The last one, caused by Ty Dillon, took out several of the top cars, including those driven by contenders Justin Haley, Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier, Riley Herbst and Josh Berry.
Austin Cindric won the championship race at Phoenix International Raceway last year to take the series title. He will try to defend the title this season before moving to the NASCAR Cup Series next season. He will drive the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers, a partner of Team Penske.
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Austin Cindric will start 39th in the Daytona 500 on Sunday.
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