By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Austin Cindric showcased he was a true contender in the Jockey Made in America 250 at Road America, but his day was altered before the end of Stage 2.
While battling hard against the likes of Matt DiBenedetto and Kyle Busch, things went south on Lap 24. Entering Turn 5, Cindric’s No. 33 Pirtek Ford Mustang locked up and lost the lead to Busch.
Moments later, Cindric spun around which resulted him to enter pit road where they found out the issue. Turned out one wheel was spinning instead of two that would keep him going properly.
Once that was figured out, it was game over for the reigning Xfinity Series winner.
Cindric still loves Road America, but Road America doesn’t love Cindric back.
“I only had one wheel drive and when you only have two other ones spinning with 750 horsepower it is a bit challenging. It was quite dramatic taking the lead and then immediately losing everything,” said Cindric.
“Not a weekend I am necessarily happy about. To have the opportunity to show up at this race track with extremely well-prepared race cars and have a shot to win both races is really great for someone in my position.”
In the closing laps of Saturday’s Henry 180, Cindric was collected in a 11-car crash in Turn 1. While his day wasn’t over, it hurt his chances of being in contention for the win. When the dust settled, Busch won while Cindric crossed the line in eighth.
With six Cup starts to his name, Sunday marked Cindric’s second low point of the year. The other being the Daytona 500, another race he had a strong shot of winning. He’ll only have one more race on the Cup level before moving up full-time next season.
“I want to make the most of it and I put way too much into it to have it go that bad,” said Cindric. “Especially when you get moved out of the lead and then take it back as clean as possible, and then this is all you’ve got. That is racing. That is my motto for the weekend. I appreciate Pirtek and everyone at Road America for coming out to support us. It has been a great weekend.”
UPDATE: Cindric would eventually return back to the track for a few laps before ultimately retiring for good. He finished 38th out of the 40-car field.