Team Penske announced today that Austin Cindric, the defending NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Champion and the current series points leader, will drive the famed No. 2 Team Penske Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Cup Series starting in 2022. This comes after Cindric was previously announced to transition to the Cup Series full-time next season driving the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing.
Concurrently, former NASCAR Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski will depart Team Penske at the end of the 2021 season to pursue other opportunities within the sport.
“Austin is a champion and has proven his abilities both on and off the track.” said Roger Penske. “The Cup Series is a big step for any rookie but making this move now, in conjunction with the introduction of the new NextGen car, makes sense. He has gained valuable experience this year competing in a handful of races at the Cup level and he has shown that he belongs out there.”
Cindric has earned 12 Xfinity Series wins for Team Penske and currently leads the series point standings and is the leader in wins, top-10 finishes, stage wins and laps led. He has also made six starts in the Cup Series in 2021, leading laps in three of those events. At COTA and Road America, Cindric qualified in the top-five and led laps in each race. He also led laps at the Daytona 500 while running in the top 10 for the majority of the race. Cindric will join teammates Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano to complete a strong NASCAR Cup Series lineup for Team Penske in 2022.
“Throughout my NASCAR career, I've grown a lot as a driver and an individual,” said Cindric. “There are so many individuals within the walls of Team Penske that have elevated me to a level that matches this opportunity. The support towards my development from Roger, Team Penske, and all of our partners has been the leading factor towards race wins and a championship.
“The No. 2 car is iconic to this sport and is a number that represents the foundation of this team. It is a great honor and a great responsibility to continue that role. As 2022 gets closer, I am excited to embrace that. Until then, my focus remains on winning another Xfinity Series Championship.”
Additionally, Team Penske announced that long-time partner Discount Tire will remain a key sponsor with the organization moving forward on both the No. 2 of Cindric and the No. 12 of Blaney in 2022. The remainder of Cindric’s partner lineup will be announced at a later date.