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NASCAR Cup Series

Cindric Battles to Daytona Glory

Austin Cindric - photo credit -

Austin Cindric 23, a NASCAR  Cup Series rookie dueled Bubba Wallace to win a photo finish 64th Daytona 500  plus becoming the second-youngest driver to win the celebrated Harley J.  Earl Trophy.

DAYTONA – February 20, 2022 – Anthony Holbrook

The NASCAR Cup Series kicked off the 2022 season venturing to The World Center of Racing to challenge Daytona’s 2,5 Superspeedway- High Banks  for the annual running of the Great American Race.

Daytona 500 – Stage 1 recap:

After weeks of anticipation, at 3:06 pm Sunday the 64th Daytona 500  was waved green  Daytona International Speedway, with Kyle Larson leading the field into Turn 1 of the 65 lap Stage.   Hendrick teammate Alex Bowman, started shotgun alongside Larson on the front row while Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher claiming Row 2 after winning their Daytona Duels last Thursday. 

Making an early statement on the track, Brad Keselowski led field all but one lap the Daytona 500 through the first 23 circuits.   Austin Cindric positioned in second, followed by Chris Buescher and defending Daytona winner Michael McDowell

Many tire issues were highlighted in Stage 1 as Kaz Grala lost a right rear tire and in addition JJ Yeley’s right front wheel broke a few laps later, inviting the caution flag.  As of coincidence the newly designed car/wheel of the future eliminated the customary 5 lug nuts for one center lug nut.

Kyle Busch keep the field at the wheel, leading teammate Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell and William Byron with 12 laps remaining in Stage 1.

Brad Keselowski sent rookie Harrison Burton a bump draft for the lead, sending Burton sideways into William Byron.  Harrison Burton slid on his hood briefly before settling back down.   William Byron crashed in the safety barrier wall, collecting Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman and Ross Chastain.

As the smoke and debris cleared Martin Truex Jr. would victor in Stage 1 under caution.

Daytona 500 – Stage 2 recap:

A mirage of blue oval led by Ryan Blaney would own a major segment of Stage 2 until teams’ pit service scrambled the lead.

New team Owner/Driver Brad Keselowski rotated into the lead with 20 to go in Stage 2, followed by teammate Chris Buescher.

The final segment spotlighted Martin Truex Jr. accelerating around Joey Logano to collect his second straight stage. Bubba Wallace followed third, Brad Keselowski and Todd Gilliland finished 4th and 5th respectfully.

Daytona 500 – Final recap:

In overtime, Austin Cindric navigated  high to block Ryan Blaney’s  progress  as the checkers was in sight.  The two made contact, opening the door for Bubba Wallace to advance and challenge Austin C.                    

Austin Cindric guarded his position initiating contact as Bubby Wallace’s attempted a low line lane for passage. These fierce drivers battled to the checkers side by side leaving it all on the track as Cindric’s No. 2 edged Wallace’s No. 23 for the prestigious 500 victory. 

Austin Cindric punched his ticket into the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs unless 17 or more drivers win races in the regular season and Cindric is not among the top 16 of those winners in the point’s standings.

Excellent Birthday gift for Cindric’s team owner Roger Penske  in Austin Cindric’s  remarkable  8th NASCAR Cup Series career start.

Daytona 500– Final Results:

1. Austin Cindric
2. Bubba Wallace
3. Chase Briscoe
4. Ryan Blaney
5. Aric Almirola
6. Kyle Busch
7. Michael McDowell
8. David Rogan
9. Brad Keselowski
10. Chase Elliott
11. Ty Dillon
12. Daniel Hemric
13. Martin Truex Jr.
14. Corey LaJoie
15. Landon Cassill
16. Chris Buescher
17. Cody Ware
18. Daniel Suarez
19. Kurt Busch
20. Cole Custer
21. Joey Logano
22. Jacques Villeneuve
23. Justin Haley
24. Alex Bowman
25. Austin Dillon
26. Kaz Grala
27. BJ McLeod
28. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
29. Erik Jones
30. Kevin Harvick
31. Noah Gragson
32. Kyle Larson
33. Todd Gilliland
34. Christopher Bell
35. Tyler Reddick
36. Greg Biffle
37. Denny Hamlin
38. William Byron
39. Harrison Burton

NASCAR Cup Series travels due west to Fontana, California  for the running of the Wise Power 400 @ Auto Club Speedway   –    Sunday, February 27th 2022    3:30 p.m. E.T.  –    FOX  – Sirius XM NASCAR 90

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