Austin Cindric will again compete full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next season but this time soley under the Team Penske banner.
Penske announced Cindric as the primary driver of its No. 22 Ford Thursday night. Cindric is two races away from finishing his rookie season in the series and is still championship eligible going into Saturday’s race at ISM Raceway in Phoenix. He has been splitting time this year between Penske and Roush Fenway Racing.
“I have had such a unique opportunity this year to learn from so many people, and to learn quite a lot in a short amount of time,” said Cindric. “To have the chance to apply that experience for a full season with Team Penske in 2019 is a huge step in my career. I am so grateful for the confidence Mr. Penske, the 22 team, Ford Performance, Team Penske and all of their partners have put in me. I can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to accomplish together.”
Team owner Roger Penske said the 20-year-old Cindric, son of Team Penske president Tim Cindric, a has done a “solid job” this year under tough circumstances.
“He has earned the opportunity to compete full-time and fight for the championship in 2019,” Penske said. “We are excited to continue to see him develop his stock car skills and he should be one of the exciting young drivers to watch next season.”
Splitting time between two organizations have brought mixed results for Cindric, but when behind the wheel of a Team Penske car, Cindric has performed well. His 11 top-10 finishes this season have all come either driving the No. 12 or 22. Cindric also has five top-five finishes and three poles with Penske, and all 137 of his laps led have also been with Penske.
The Penske organization will also continue to run a second Xfinity Series car, the No. 12, on a limited basis next year. Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Paul Menard will share the ride.
Team Penske also revealed that MoneyLion would be a primary sponsor on Cindric’s car for 18 races next year. The company entered the NASCAR landscape this season with Penske and will be increasing its support from four races.
MoneyLion is also going to sponsor two NASCAR Cup Series races for Logano (spring Talladega, Watkins Glen) as well as one race for Blaney (spring Phoenix).
“Team Penske has shown uncompromising support of our efforts thus far, and we only aim to reciprocate that to Team Penske and NASCAR fans everywhere,” said Dee Choubey, CEO and co-founder of MoneyLion. “We’re thrilled to show our commitment to the sport and its fans in new and exciting ways that fans can truly experience. We’re so proud to support Team Penske’s team’s efforts, and look forward to growing our support of the broader team next season with Austin, Joey, Ryan, and their crews.”