To say it’s been a fun week for NASCAR rookie Austin Cindric would be a bit of an understatement. After winning the Daytona 500, the racing champion is back and bringing the heat. The star kept the ball rolling by securing the Busch Light Pole at the Auto Club Speedway Saturday in the practice and qualifying format for the Wise Power 400.
According to nascar.com, the rookie’s best lap clocked in at 174.647 miles per hour to clinch the win. Cindric did all this in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. It is the first Cup Series of his career and first pole of the season.
Surely the driver had to stop and pinch himself following the victory. Yet, Cindric remains humble and deeply grateful for all he’s been able to accomplish. Asked about how the race went overall. the driver had the following to say:
“Pretty dramatic. I thought my lap wasn’t going to stand,” says Cindric “I thought my (turns) one and two was money, but my three and four were a bit conservative mostly because my one and two was money. I didn’t talk myself into going deep like I wanted to in three. Anyway, just an awesome couple of days and an awesome way to start things out, but I don’t think it guarantees anything for the race but is certainly a lot of fun to be able to go through that.”
Coming in second place and securing the other top starting spot for the NASCAR Wise Power 400 was Erik Jones. The No. 43 Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet driver came just barely behind Cindric with a 174.157 miles per hour lap.
The Wise Power 400 will air at 3:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, February 27 on FOX.
Austin Cindric on NASCAR Daytona 500 Win
Before he realized it, rookie Austin Cindric was in a great spot to win the Daytona 500. The special moment was captured via Cindric’s headset when his team realizes he’s done it. His reaction is not only incredibly sweet, but it was a proud moment for the entire team.
In a post on Twitter, NASCAR released the audio of the moments leading up to the win. You can hear the surprise and excitement in the young driver’s voice as he comes to terms with the milestone victory.
Following the race, Cindric spoke about that moment and what it meant to him.
“This is by far the best thing I’ve seen from yesterday. Can’t describe how happy watching this makes me.”
He goes on to add:
“Definitely a good time to collect my thoughts and just appreciate the moment there for a minute,” Cindric says. “To be able to do this in front of a sellout crowd, to be able to do this in general, to be able to be part of this race, having a shot… It’s a racer’s dream. So many people get close to it, and I feel very grateful and very proud to be able to pull it off.”