By: Mitchell Breuer
This weekend marks another that Austin Cindric will be pulling double duty, running both the NASCAR Xfinity and Cup Series races at Road America.
Cindric, who has proven to be a road course ace in Xfinity, will be one of the favorites to win on Saturday, and after leading laps in his Cup start at the Circuit of Americas, could be labeled as a driver that might be able to sweep the weekend.
However, when it comes to Sunday’s Jockey Made in America 250, the 22-year-old is leveling his expectations, viewing his chance to race in the event as a learning opportunity.
“I usually expect to be humbled every time I race in the Cup Series Anything past that is usually a bonus,” Cindric told News From The Pits. “I am excited for it; I do not have high expectations. I think I will have pace, that has never been a problem for me, especially on those racetracks.”
While a win would be a bonus, Cindric is just looking to improve from his last start and gain information he can carry into next season when he drives full-time in NASCAR’s top-level. So far in his limited schedule, he believes his No. 33 team has accomplished that goal well.
“It is about putting races together, it is about keeping your stuff under you, and it is about being in the right place at the right time and executing,” Cindric said. “For a part-time team, it is that much more challenging to do. I think we have a great group, definitely improve since our first race together at Daytona and Atlanta.”
While he is contention to win constantly in Xfinity, that has not been in the case in Cup yet, which Cindric does not view as a bad thing, saying it has taught him how hard mistakes can cost you in these events.
“I think you see in a race like Nashville. You had guys have good days just by keeping their cars together on the racetrack and not making any mistakes,” Cindric said. “I definitely feel like that plays a role in having the long races and puts an emphasis on execution. That goes a long way in the Cup Series. I have had the luxury-disadvantage, whatever you want to call it, I think it has taught me a lot to start last in pretty much all of my Cup starts, and I’ve learned the challenges of coming from the back and the strength in the field in the top-25. It definitely has been good to get some perspective.”
While the 2022 season is still a long way away, Cindric knows his limited schedule is close to ending, confirming to News From The Pits he will only have one more start after this weekend in order to maintain his rookie status for next year. Making the track time he has remaining all the more valuable.