Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Race: Credit Karma Money 250
Date: July 10, 2021
No. 22 CarShop Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 30th
Stage 2: 11th
Laps Completed: 164/164
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (ahead of second): 1st (+74)
- Austin Cindric scored a 10th-place finish in the Credit Karma Money 250 Saturday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Cindric claimed his 14th top-10 effort in 18 races this season and grabbed his third top-10 in five starts at Atlanta. The driver of the No. 22 CarShop Ford Mustang remains the leader in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, 74 markers ahead of ahead of second-place AJ Allmendinger.
- The starting lineup was once again set per the NASCAR rulebook, which gave Cindric the fourth-place starting position. He slipped back to seventh position during the opening laps of the race, battling a loose handling Mustang. Crew chief Brian Wilson called his driver to pit road during the first caution on lap 22 for a track bar adjustment and packer to aid the handling but received no fresh tires or fuel during the stop. Cindric was one of just a few cars to pit and he restarted 33rd on lap 24. The handling woes continued for the young driver, and he was left with a 30th-place finish when Stage 1 ended on lap 40. Wilson called his driver to pit road during the stage caution on lap 43 for four tires, fuel, and major adjustments to the CarShop Ford. The team was hit with a penalty for a crewmember over the wall too soon which shuffled Cindric back to 36th when the race went green on lap 46.
- Stage 2 saw Cindric and the team fight their way back through the field. He reported that his Mustang's handling condition improved, and he was able to race his way to the 11th position when the segment concluded on lap 80. Once again Wilson made the call for his driver to pit during the stage caution, opting once more for major chassis adjustments, four tires, and fuel. The reigning Xfinity Series Champion restarted the final stage eighth on lap 86.
- Throughout the remainder of the race, Cindric maintained track position inside the top-10. The final stage was punctuated by five cautions, the last of which on lap 159 pushed the race into NASCAR Overtime. Cindric made his final stop on lap 148 and did a solid job managing the each of the chaotic restarts that closed the race and was rewarded with a top-10 finish.
Quote: "We came here with a new setup and tried to make things work today and we found ourselves in about the same position. I know there's a lot we'll learn from today and I'll definitely do a lot of self-reflecting to make sure I can create a better environment. I think we minimized damage there at the end. Probably the highlight of my day was the middle of five on the restart by my doing and gaining spots from it, so we'll move on. I think we were only going to go forward from where we started in the race, so I appreciate Brian and the guys on the CarShop team sticking with me."