Austin Cindric loves Road America, even if the picturesque Wisconsin road course doesn’t love him back.
Cindric experienced the highest of highs and then the lowest of lows in less than one lap Sunday afternoon. On lap 24, Cindric took the lead in the NASCAR Cup Series race only to suffer a mechanical issue a few corners later, which led to a spin into the grass with the No. 33 Team Penske Ford and a one-way trip to the garage.
“I only had one-wheel drive, and when you only have two other ones spinning with 750 horsepower, it is a bit challenging,” Cindric said. “It was quite dramatic taking the lead and then immediately losing everything. Not a weekend I am necessarily happy about.
“To have the opportunity to show up at this race track with extremely well-prepared race cars and have a shot to win both races is really great for someone in my position. But I want to make the most of it, and I put way too much into it to have it go that bad, especially when you get moved out of the lead and then take it back as clean as possible, and then this is all you’ve got.
“That is racing. That is my motto for the weekend. I appreciate Pirtek and everyone at Road America for coming out to support us. It has been a great weekend.”
Cindric qualified fifth Sunday morning (after being fastest in the first round of qualifying) and did lead two laps. He took the lead off a lap 17 restart when he restarted third and muscled his way around Martin Truex Jr. and Matt DiBenedetto.
A promising day goes bad in a hurry for @AustinCindric.
The No. 33 spins and has a mechanical problem. (📺: NBC) pic.twitter.com/gZdNtBOwVi
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) July 4, 2021
Road America marked Cindric’s sixth start in the Cup Series and his second on a road course. At COTA, Cindric qualified third and led four laps. He led two laps in the Daytona 500 when he finished 15th, which is his best result in the Cup Series thus far.
Cindric is expected to make one more start this season before moving into the series full-time in 2022.