NASCAR: Rookie Austin Cindric Is Fired Up After First Cup Series Win at Daytona 500

by Jonathan Howard

Wow. What a race. The Daytona 500 proved yet again why it is The Great American Race as Cup Series Rookie Austin Cindric takes the win.

Cindric is an Xfinity champ. He is just 23-years-old. And, now he has taken the checkered flag at Daytona in his first year as a full-time Cup Series driver. Watch him bathe in confetti courtesy of Outsider’s Marty Smith.

You can’t win the 500 if you don’t make it across the finish line. So, Austin Cindric kept cool and calm, and with a little bumping from teammate Ryan Blaney, made his way to history. After the race, the No.2 driver was pumped up.

“Oh my God. You know what makes it all better? A packed house, a packed house at the Daytona 500!” Cindric exclaimed. “I’ve got so many people to think. First and foremost, Roger Penske, happy birthday! Oh my gosh! I appreciate Ryan being a great teammate obviously he wants to win this one. I’m so pumped for Discount Tires, Menards, Ford, everyone who works so hard with this Next Gen car through this whole process. I am so excited, this makes up for losing a championship the last race I did.”

“I’m surrounded by great people, that’s all there is to it,” he continued. “I know there’s going to be highs and lows being a rookie in a field of drivers this strong… I’m just grateful for the opportunity, excited to climb to mountain ahead of us… We’re in the playoffs that’s one box checked. What an awesome group of fans, what an awesome race car, just really thankful.”

Austin Cindric Wins Despite Two Crashes in Towards End of Daytona 500

This wasn’t a Daytona 500 that was filled with 10 cautions and only five cars made the finish. However, this was a fun Daytona 500. And, there were still plenty of wrecks. When they happened, it seemed that Austin Cindric just found a way to avoid them, or was away from the impact. Others weren’t so lucky.

Harrison Burton led some laps early in Stage 1. Then, after getting a small bump from Brad Keselowski, he spun out and took a few cars with him. His No.21 caught air and flipped once or twice. Then, Stage 2 seemed to go well. After some hard-driving, the field thinned out, lines formed and they were racing hard. Stage 3, and the last 30 laps would bring the most consequential wrecks.

Kevin Harvick got pinched and caused quite a commotion that ended a few more driver’s nights. It looked like that was going to be the “big one.” However, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. would find himself getting wrecked as the last 10 laps came up. Stenhouse was one of the fastest cars on the track at the time of his wreck. That’s how Daytona goes, though.

Austin Cindric, Daytona 500 champion. Sounds pretty good, don’t it folks?