By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
After an exciting battle for the lead, Austin Cindric earned his fifth-straight top-10 finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Cindric finished fifth in the No. 19 Draw-Tite / Reese Brands Ford F-150 at Michigan International Speedway.
Cindric ran up front all race long, leading a career-high 24 laps in the final stage of the LTi Printing 200. After losing the lead to eventual race winner Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace, Jr., he made a daring attempt to retake the lead in turns one and two. Cindric failed to clear Wallace and had to chase his truck up the track in turns three and four. Contact from Matt Crafton nearly sent Cindric around with under 10 laps to go.
Cindric had fun battling with his competitors for the win,
“On the one hand, you’ve got Bubba who’s very experienced. He’s out here on a one-off, so you’ve got nothing to lose. Then you have guys like Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, and Matt Crafton behind you. That was a lot of fun. I needed a little bit of help when I dove down to the bottom with Bubba. Maybe I should have saved it for one to go, I knew we were really good in one and two. It’s just one of those deals. I’ve got to thank Draw-Tite, Ford, LTi Printing. We had a lot of people here to support us.”
Cindric continued, looking toward the Playoffs, which are three races away,
“We’ve still got Bristol, Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsports Park), and Chicago to get into these Playoffs. We can still make it on points, but a win is going to be nice when it comes, and it will.”
Evidence of Cindric’s strong run can be seen in his stage finishes. He finished Stage 1 in sixth, gaining five Championship points. Cindric was running inside to top-10 towards the end of Stage 2, but pit strategy left him in 11th when the stage ended.
Cindric’s fifth-place finish was the third top-five and seventh top-10 of his career. He remains 10th in points, 211 markers behind points leader Christopher Bell, and 65 behind the cutoff for the Playoffs, currently held by Ben Rhodes.
Cindric and his Brad Keselowski Racing team will now look ahead to Bristol Motor Speedway where they hope to seal the deal and lock themselves into the Playoffs.