Track: Phoenix Raceway
Race: NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race
Date: November 6, 2021
No. 22 CarShop Ford Mustang – Austin Cindric
Start: 1st – Eighth Career Pole
Stage 1: 1st – 13th Stage Win of 2021
Stage 2: 2nd
Laps Completed: 204/204
Laps Led: 113
- Austin Cindric came just half a car length short in a thrilling battle for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship on Saturday night at Phoenix Raceway. Cindric and Daniel Hemric waged a thrilling battle for the race victory and title on the final lap of the race with Hemric edging Cindric by just .030 seconds at the checkered flag. The 22 team did capture the NASCAR Xfinity Series Owners' Championship by four points over the 54 team at Joe Gibbs Racing, Team Penske's 41st Championship.
- Cindric started his Saturday afternoon at Phoenix by winning the pole with a lap of 27.293 seconds, 131.902 mph. It was his eighth pole in 133 NASCAR Xfinity Series races and his first pole in 2021.
- Once the race started, the driver of the CarShop Ford Mustang fell to second but recaptured the race lead on lap 21. Cindric never looked back, scoring the win when Stage 1 ended on lap 45, his 13th stage victory of the season. During caution he reported his CarShop Mustang was a little snug. Crew chief Brian Wilson made the call for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment to aid the handling of No. 22 Mustang.
- Cindric started third when Stage 2 went green on lap 52 and quickly captured the runner up position before the second caution slowed the race on lap 59. He briefly fell outside the top-five but rallied back to edge out John Hunter Nemechek for second-place when the stage ended on lap 90. During caution Cindric reported he needed more drive off the corners. Wilson made another air pressure adjustment and Cindric restarted third on lap 97.
- The final stage was filled with cautions, but Cindric led much of the final stage and was in position to win the both the race and his second series title. The 10th and final caution on lap 195 pushed the finish of the race into NASCAR Overtime. Cindric restarted in the outside lane and raced wheel to wheel with Hemric for the next two laps coming up just short at the checkered flag.
Quote: "I'm very appreciative of the opportunity to race on such a big stage. The opportunity to race for Roger Penske and represent Ford Performance, our companies and all of our sponsors that have helped us this season. It would have been awesome to finish this out. I felt like we had a dominant race car. I felt like we did everything right. This 22 car has won so many owner's championships over the years with so many great drivers. My first race in this 22 car was in 2017 and they won the owner's championship then."