Austin Cindric Wins Again for his Fourth Victory

Austin Cindric wins again in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Henry 180 on Saturday at Road America for the fourth victory in his last five starts.
ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN – AUGUST 08: Austin Cindric, driver of the No. 22 Menards/Richmond Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Henry 180 at Road America on August 08, 2020, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Austin Cindric wins again in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Henry 180 on Saturday at Road America for the fourth victory in his last five starts.

Earning the victory in Saturday’s Henry 180 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on the historic four-mile Road America road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., Austin Cindric was able to hold off traffic on numerous restarts. It was an elongated afternoon of competition that included wet and dry conditions and 13 dramatic lead changes.

Cindric, 21, took his No. 22 Team Penske Ford to the lead with three laps remaining by holding off hard-charging veteran road course ace A.J. Allmendinger. Cindric led by 1.318-seconds for his fourth win in the last five races. He is the 11th different Road America winner in the last 11 races on the track.

“I had a lot of fun,” Cindric acknowledged, of racing head-to-head with so many of his championship challengers on the day.

The Top-Ten

Chase Briscoe, a five-time winner in 2020 who is second to Cindric by 11 points in the driver standings, finished third on Saturday followed by Kaz Grala and IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Series star Andy Lally.

Noah Gragson, Ross Chastain, Preston Pardus, Ryan Sieg, and Michael Annett rounded out the top-ten. It was a career-best finish for the 23-year old Floridian Pardus, who also had a top-ten finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course last month.

Alternative Pitting Strategies, Rain, Lightning, and Cautions

The race included “alternative pitting” strategies, ever-changing weather – rain and lightning – in addition to the typical challenges and tactics the series’ road course venues present.

An assortment of short caution periods interrupted the early portion of the race and eventually lightning forced a red flag that lasted 93 minutes, 16 seconds. But once the racing resumed, it was a dramatic reminder of the excitement and intrigue this brand of road course racing provides for racer and race fan.

From the very first lap, however, Cindric proved himself the class of the field – the driver to beat. He dove to the lead in the first turn after the green flag dropped and led the opening eight laps before cars were called to pit lane because of lightning. After more than an hour of stoppage, teams had to strategize whether to change their slick tires to rain tires in light of the changing weather conditions.

Cindric’s Competitors

Justin Haley got around Cindric on the ensuing re-start and held onto the lead to win Stage 1 – his second stage victory of the season. He was involved in a collision late in the race and rallied to an 11th-place finish.

Allmendinger, who earned the Stage 2 win – along with his Kaulig Racing teammates Ross Chastain and Justin Haley had to overcome a strategy setback needing an additional pit stop to complete their fuel and tire needs. That left Grala and veteran Justin Allgaier out front to start the final stage.

The Cutline Drivers

The race affected the championship standings with six races remaining to set the 12-driver Playoff field. Brandon Brown holds the 12th position with Jeremy Clements 53 points behind and Myatt Snider 73 points behind.

Up Next

The next race is also a road course event at the Daytona International Speedway – the first time the Xfinity Series has raced on the iconic venue’s road course.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 11th Annual Henry 180

Road America

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Saturday, August 8, 2020

               1. (2)  Austin Cindric, Ford, 45.

               2. (33)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 45.

               3. (7)  Chase Briscoe, Ford, 45.

               4. (6)  Kaz Grala, Chevrolet, 45.

               5. (23)  Andy Lally, Chevrolet, 45.

               6. (9)  Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 45.

               7. (11)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 45.

               8. (37)  Preston Pardus, Chevrolet, 45.

               9. (16)  Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 45.

               10. (1)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 45.

               11. (4)  Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 45.

               12. (13)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 45.

               13. (22)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 45.

               14. (8)  Brandon Jones, Toyota, 45.

               15. (21)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 45.

               16. (3)  Harrison Burton #, Toyota, 45.

               17. (30)  Josh Bilicki, Toyota, 45.

               18. (36)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 45.

               19. (19)  Jade Buford, Chevrolet, 45.

               20. (24)  Rc Enerson, Chevrolet, 45.

               21. (32)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 45.

               22. (15)  Stephen Leicht, Toyota, 45.

               23. (5)  Riley Herbst #, Toyota, 45.

               24. (20)  Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 45.

               25. (26)  Joe Graf Jr #, Chevrolet, 45.

               26. (35)  Jesse Iwuji(i), Toyota, 45.

               27. (28)  Kody Vanderwal #, Chevrolet, Engine, 43.

               28. (14)  Jesse Little #, Chevrolet, 43.

               29. (18)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, Accident, 42.

               30. (12)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, Accident, 41.

               31. (17)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, Accident, 41.

               32. (29)  Myatt Snider #, Chevrolet, Accident, 41.

               33. (27)  Scott Heckert, Toyota, 41.

               34. (34)  Vinnie Miller, Chevrolet, Engine, 10.

               35. (10)  Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, Engine, 7.

               36. (31)  Chad Finchum, Toyota, Transmission, 5.

               37. (25)  Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, Engine, 0.

The Henry 180 Stats

Average Speed of Race Winner:  61.83 mph.

Time of Race:  Two Hrs, 56 Mins, 37 Secs. The Margin of Victory:  1.318 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  Seven for 15 laps.

Lead Changes:  13 among nine drivers.

Lap Leaders:   M. Annett 0;A. Cindric 1-11;J. Haley 12-14;J. Bilicki 15-17;P. Pardus 18;J. Bilicki 19;N. Gragson 20;A. Labbe 21;A. Allmendinger 22-30;K. Grala 31-32;J. Allgaier 33;A. Cindric 34-39;P. Pardus 40-43;A. Cindric 44-45.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Austin Cindric three times for 19 laps; AJ Allmendinger one time for nine laps; Preston Pardus two times for five laps; Josh Bilicki two times for four laps; Justin Haley one time for three laps; Kaz Grala one time for two laps; Justin Allgaier one time for one lap; Noah Gragson one time for one lap; Alex Labbe one time for one lap.

Stage 1 Top-Ten: 11,22,98,10,02,7,1,99,6,07

Stage 2 Top-Ten: 16,10,11,99,02,21,68,6,1,78