Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Race: Ambetter Get Vaccinated 200
Date: July 17, 2021
No. 22 CarShop Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Stage 1: 4th
Stage 2: 2nd
Laps Completed: 200/200
Laps Led: 0
Point Standings (ahead of second): 1st (+82)
- Austin Cindric claimed his best finish in three starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a fourth-place finish in Ambetter Get Vaccinated 200 on Saturday afternoon. His previous best effort at the 1.058-mile speedway was a 12th-place in 2019. The driver of the No. 22 CarShop Mustang racked up his 12th top-five in 19 starts this season and remains the leader in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver standings, 82 markers 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. Before the competition caution was displayed on lap 20, Cindric reported his CarShop Mustang lacked grip on the short run. As the stage progressed, the reigning Xfinity Series Champion ran as high as second but slipped to fourth position when Stage 1 concluded on lap 45. Crew chief Brian Wilson called for an air pressure adjustment, four tires and fuel during a round of pit stops during the stage caution on lap 48 and Cindric restarted fifth when the race went green on lap 52.
- Cindric moved up to second position early in Stage 2. The adjustments by Wilson a few laps earlier improved the short run speed on the No. 22 Mustang, but Cindric reported he also needed a little more front turn. The Mooresville, N.C. native held firm to the runner-up position during the caution-free second stage. Wilson called his driver to pit road during the stage cation for an air pressure adjustment, four tires, and fuel.
- Cindric restarted fourth when the Stage 3 went green on lap 98. He ran inside the top-five through the final segment of the race. The fifth caution on lap 150 set up one final round of stops among the leaders and speedy service by the CarShop team (four tires plus another round of air pressure adjustments) put Cindric third for the restart on lap 155. He briefly climbed up to second position on lap 163 but soon fell back to fourth position by lap 167, where he remained for the final 33 laps.
Quote: "We started a little bit off the eight-ball. We didn't have enough short run speed and got to where we could recover from that and just trying to figure out which one was our strength, and which one was our weakness. Trying to be good on the short run and hold on for the drive on the long run, so we probably made the wrong call there with the final adjustment, but I think it was going to be the right thing to be able to battle with the 54 (Christopher Bell). I could have been a bit more of a jerk to pass the 7 (Justin Allgaier), but it wasn't worth it. It was fun racing, and we'll move on. It was a solid points day for the CarShop Ford Mustang. We have a good little off week for the guys to re-juice and get ready for Watkins."