Track: Daytona International Speedway
Race: NASCAR Racing Experience 300
Date: February 15, 2020
No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 6th
Stage 2: 5th
Laps Completed: 113/120
Laps Led: 0
Driver Point Standings (behind first): 16th (-26)
Austin Cindric and the No. 22 MoneyLion team were in contention to win Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona International Speedway until the young driver was swept up in a multiple car accident just seven laps from the finish. Cindric was credited with a 25th-place and leaves Daytona 16th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings.
Cindric started 15th in the 120-lap, 300-mile race and ran inside the top-10 for the entire first 30-lap stage. He was credited with a sixth-place finish at the conclusion of Stage 1. He was running third and aggressively made a move to win the segment on the last lap but he was shuffled to sixth place, scoring four stage points. He pitted during the stage caution for two tires, fuel and restarted eighth when the race went green on lap 35.
Cindric was running in fifth position at the time of the third caution on lap 39. The driver of the MoneyLion Mustang would move up to second position by lap 45. Cindric was nudged in the left-rear by Ross Chastain as the two battled for position. The No. 22 Mustang wiggled but Cindric maintained control and crossed the finish line in fifth-place – racking up five more stage points. Crew chief Brian Wilson made the call for two tires when the pits were opened during the stage caution. Good work on pit lane by the MoneyLion team moved Cindric up to second-place for the restart on lap 66.
During the next run, Cindric settled into fourth position as the field formed a single-file train until lap 81 when the leaders made a scheduled green flag stop for fuel-only. The green flag pit cycle was completed with 20 laps to go, with Cindric in fourth position.
Cindric was running fourth when a three-car accident brought out for the fifth caution on lap 109. The race went green on lap 113, setting up a seven-lap scramble for the win. Jeb Burton’s car got loose at the entrance to Turn 3 and collected Cindric, triggering a 13-car pileup and ending Cindric’s afternoon.
"Everyone is trying to make moves happen. It’s Daytona. Everyone is in a pack and pushing hard. The 98 (Chase Briscoe) jumped up in front of the pack. Noah Gragson then jumped in front of the top lane and that really compressed us. I thought I gave Jeb Burton the right push at the right spot in the bumper. We had a fast MoneyLion Ford Mustang. We ran up front all day and just could never get Chase and I synced up to where we could help each other."