Coming off the final turn on the last lap of Sunday’s Daytona 500, Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney found himself in complete control – in second place just behind teammate, Austin Cindric.
While entering the tri-oval, Blaney made a move at the top of the racetrack to try and pass his Penske teammate, however Cindric threw a race-winning block on Blane sending him into the fence while approaching the white line.
Rookie Austin Cindric became the 2022 Daytona 500 champion following a fascinating overtime finish to the season opener. Just a few years ago, Cindric was as raw a racing rookie as they came. The 23-yo had come up the ranks as a highly proficient road course racer, but went through a long feeling-out process trying to figure out how to run good on ovals.
Austin Cindric on the Final Lap block of Ryan Blaney and pinching him into the wall
Cindric said: “I have absolutely zero regrets, I think that everybody behind me put themselves in position to win the race and I think I did the same and obviously it worked out quite well. ”
“Just really proud of the effort, proud of the teamwork there and proud of the teamwork with Ford throughout the race so I’ve got zero complaints and zero regrets.”
Austin Cindric had not seen a replay of the final lap until late last night. As far as the block of Ryan Blaney and pinching him into the wall, Cindric says “I have absolutely zero regrets.” pic.twitter.com/02pfDOUEOt
– Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 21, 2022
Austin Cindric is now the ninth driver in Cup Series history to earn his first career Cup win in the Daytona 500, and the second in a row to do so.
“Damn, I’m so excited. This makes up for losing the championship the last race I did, ”Cindric told Fox Sports. “I’m just surrounded by great people, that’s all there is to it. I know there’s gonna be highs and lows being a rookie in a field of drivers this strong. I’m just grateful for the opportunity, excited to climb the mountain we’ve got ahead of us on the No. 2 teams. ”
– NASCAR (@NASCAR) February 21, 2022