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Home Sports NASCAR Austin Cindric Claims his First Cup Series Victory, the Daytona 500

Austin Cindric Claims his First Cup Series Victory, the Daytona 500


DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 20: Austin Cindric, driver of the # 2 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Cup Series 64th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2022, in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

Austin Cindric claims his first Cup Series victory, the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway late Sunday afternoon.

The time has come to kick off the 2022 campaign with the most anticipated race of every season. The Daytona 500 is a fan favorite for obvious reasons. Daytona International Speedway is home to some of the most chaotic, unpredictable, and action-packed racing on the schedule. Any of the NASCAR Cup Series’ drivers can win this race, and it happens by making it to the end in one piece.

Hendrick Motorsports claimed the front row once more with Kyle Larson and Alex Bowman starting first and second. The pair could not hold on to lead the first lap as Brad Keselowski was able to take an early lead. The race quickly shapes up to a single file with Keselowski pulling the train.

With 20 laps to go the field began making green-flag stops. Shortly after the field returned to the track, the caution was thrown for Kaz Grala losing a wheel. There was another caution shortly after the restart with Justin Haley losing a wheel.

The end of the opening stage came to a crashing halt with the first catastrophic wreck of the afternoon. Harrison Burton went for a spin after being aggressively pushed by Brad Keselowski. Burton collected seven other cars with William Byron taking the hardest hit of the accident.

Martin Truex Jr. held the lead to claim the opening stage as it finishes under caution.

Ford Dominates the Second Stage, but Toyota Takes the Stage Win

Erik Jones restarted the second stage with the lead, but it was Ryan Blaney jumping out front on the high side. Blaney was able to lead the opening 30 laps before the field began making its way onto pit road.

After the green flag pitting cycle, Brad Keselowski was once again at the top of the charts. Keselowski had to fend off Kyle Larson who was able to make the pass for the lead. Keselowski worked with Joey Logano to retake the lead on the following lap.

Then, Logano was able to draft off the lapped car of Chase Briscoe to move past Keselowski for the lead on the last lap. As the field came off the fourth turn, it was Martin Truex Jr. being pushed from behind to win the second stage at the line.

Austin Cindric Claims his First Cup Series Victory, the Daytona 500

The third stage was tame with everyone wanting to make it to the end to fight for the win. Brad Keselowski led a big portion of the final stage, but it did not matter as the race took a major turn with ten laps remaining.

Kevin Harvick had to check up and was rear-ended by Kyle Larson. Four drivers were involved, and the race was halted for debris removal. This was not the final wreck of the day as another one followed on the restart.

This time it was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spinning after being pushed by Brad Keselowski. Stenhouse spun into the fence and ended his bid for a Daytona 500 victory.

The race moved into overtime with Austin Cindric controlling the restart with two laps to go. He jumps out front with a push from Ryan Blaney. The field jockeyed for position coming around the last turn for the final time. Cindric put a massive block on Blaney and had to race Bubba Wallace to the line. Austin Cindric was able to edge Bubba Wallace by a few feet to win his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race – the Daytona 500.

The opening race of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season did not disappoint. Austin Cindric makes his rookie season debut and outlasts the veterans to claim the first win of his NASCAR Cup Series career.

Austin Cindric has made a handful of appearances in the Cup Series over the past few years, but he finally makes it to full-time racing for Roger Penske. Cindric finds himself on a great team and racing in one of the best cars in the field.

Cindric has plenty of experience, taking time to work his way through the levels of NASCAR. With just seven previous Cup races, he has limited experience at NASCAR’s highest level. Cindric’s limited time at the Cup level, however, gave him enough time to have a limitless opportunity at Daytona. Cindric’s Daytona 500 win shows he has the wherewithal of a veteran. This is most likely the first of many wins for the 23-year-old driver.



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