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NASCAR Xfinity: Austin Cindric notches first oval win at Kentucky

SPARTA, KENTUCKY – JULY 09: Austin Cindric, driver of the #22 Snap-On Ford, celebrates with the checkered flag after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Shady Rays 200 at Kentucky Speedway on July 09, 2020 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

The first race of a NASCAR Xfinity Series doubleheader at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Thursday night’s Shady Rays 200, ended with Austin Cindric celebrating in victory lane. The win was Cindric’s first of the 2020 season. It also was his third-career Xfinity Series win but his first on an oval.

“I don’t care what shape the track is; if it’s dirt, oval, I don’t care. I’m just so happy this Snap-On Ford Mustang is in victory lane,” Cindric said. “We’ve come so close all year. These guys have given me so many awesome race-winning cars. With Snap-On celebrating their 100th anniversary, it’s awesome to have them on the car. These cars don’t get built without Snap-On tools, so I’m pumped. This is awesome. I’d love to be able to come back into another performance like that tomorrow night, but all the credit to my guys for getting me here.”

Riley Herbst finished second, Ross Chastain was third, Chase Briscoe fourth, and Anthony Alfredo rounded out the top-five.

“Everybody on this Monster Energy Supra – we did a good job all day,” Herbst said. “We ran probably fourth all day. We over-adjusted the car, there, at the end and got too tight. All in all, we’ve had speed all year, we just haven’t been able to capitalize, mostly on my part, in these final stages of the races. Once we start capitalizing, we’ll start getting good finishes like this. This was a good one.”

Cindric took the lead on a lap-95 restart and led most of the remainder of the race that was scheduled for a 134-lap distance but extended two laps by overtime because of a spin by Harrison Burton on lap 130.

“I don’t care how hard it was. I don’t care how fast we were. I’m just so happy that I’ve got these guys and the 22 car in victory lane,” Cindric said. ”They deserve so much. They’ve been so resilient at giving me great race cars week in and week out, especially since the break. It’s been hard for every team, but I’m so happy to get Snap-On in victory lane. Those restarts were a little harder than I thought they’d be. Man, with the slide job on the 11 (Justin Haley) and holding off the 98 (Briscoe), there, in one and two, that wasn’t easy.”

Noah Gragson dominated the first 90 laps of the race, including stage wins on lap 30 and lap 60. But after Justin Haley and Jeremy Clements used a two-tire strategy to get out of the pits first and second during a lap-89 caution when Brandon Brown spun and hit the wall. By that point Gragson had led 87 laps. He and Cindric were the only two drivers who led more than e10 laps.

Gragson led the entire opening 30-lap stage. After pitting during a lap-15 competition caution, Briscoe stayed out during the caution at the end of the first stage to inherit the lead. But when the race restarted on lap 38, Gragson retook the top spot.

Gragson lost multiple positions as Cindric took the race lead,d eventually falling outside the top-five. He was back up to third by the final restart, but in a messy restart that saw Briscoe wash up the track and Justin Allgaier, Timmy Hill and Ronnie Bassett Jr. wreck on the final lap, Gragson dropped outside the top-10, to 11th, by the checkered flag.

Michael Annett finished sixth, Haley was seventh, Kyle Weatherman was eighth, Ryan Sieg was ninth, and Brett Moffitt rounded out the top-10, despite wrecking from contact with Chastain on lap 103.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Shady Rays 200 at Kentucky Speedway:

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Posted by on July 10, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,Xfinity Series. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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