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NASCAR Xfinity: Austin Cindric wins in Daytona


Reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric held off Harrison Burton in the final two laps after an overtime restart to win the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Saturday night. The win was the first Xfinity Series win for Team Penske at Daytona.

Brett Moffitt got by Burton late to finish second, relegating Burton to third. Another Burton, Jeb Burton, finished fourth. A.J. Allmendinger rounded out the top-five.

Cindric’s win snapped a three-race winning streak by JR Motorsports in the February race at Daytona. All four JRM entries were casualties in the final half of the race. Michael Annett and Noah Gragson were among the drivers collected in a wreck that involved at least eight cars on lap 75, just before a cycle of green-flag pit stops would’ve gotten underway, had the yellow flag not come out.

The other two JRM drivers, Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry, were collected in a wreck that involved more than a dozen cars on lap 104. That wreck began when Ty Dillon spun while racing Joe Gibbs teammate Daniel Hemric for position near the front of the field.

Before the incident, Dillon was a contender for the win. He began the race 32nd after qualifying was rained out and the starting grid was set by 2020 car-owner points. Dillon was up to the lead by the restart for the third stage of the race. 

Brandon Jones won the opening 30-lap stage, getting to the green-white checkered flag 0.004 seconds ahead of Riley Herbst.

Cindric started on the pole. He and Allgaier ran first and second for the first 17 laps of the race, with Cindric leading nine laps to Allgaier’s eight before Herbst took the lead from Cindric on lap 18.

Herbst, then led 12 laps before his near stage win.

The end of stage two didn’t fare as well in the final seconds of the second 30-lap stage, spinning into the infield and hitting the inside retaining wall as the stage ended. Alex Labbe and Cody Ware were collected in the incident, and the race was red-flagged for track cleanup.

“First off, we had a Supra that was capable of winning the race,” Jones said. “Early on, that was one of my best races I’ve run on a superspeedway. I was doing my job. I was trying to block that lane. We were getting close to that stage end, and I’m assuming the teammates were wanting to break off for that reason and try to get to the front. We were getting kind of left, so I was trying to make some last minute moves to try to protect myself as best as I could. It just didn’t work out, but I have so much confidence after this race to go onto the next superspeedway. When we come back, I’m looking forward to it. I learned a bunch today. I just want to say thanks to Menards, Jeld-Wen. They do so much for my career and this race team. I’m looking forward to this year. It’s going to be a really good one for us.” 

Moffitt won the second stage, just before the race was red-flagged for Jones’ wreck.

Ryan Sieg led most of the second stage. Pit strategies varied as the yellow flag waved three times for single-car incidents in the opening stage. Having pitted during a previous caution, Sieg staged out during the caution after stage one ended. He remained up front until Moffitt and Dillon drafted by him late in the second stage.

Later in the race, Sieg struggled with a fluid leak and a cut tire after leading 23 laps.

Brandon Brown finished sixth, Myatt Snider was seventh, Brandon Gdovic was eighth, Hemric ninth, and Jason White rounded out the top-10.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300:

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Posted by on February 14, 2021. 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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