Austin Cindric started where he left off in 2020.
The reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion held Brett Moffitt and Harrison Burton back in two rounds in overtime to win Saturday’s action-packed beef. It’s something for dinner. 300 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
The event marked the start of the season on the Xfinity circuit.
Cindric, who won the Xfinity title on his last appearance at Phoenix Raceway in November, took his first win on the 2.5-mile Daytona Oval and the ninth of his career with Team Penske Ford No. 22.
“What a great race,” said Cindric, who will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the Daytona 500 on Sunday. “What a really fast Verizon 5G Ford Mustang. Incredible performance from everyone on the Penske team.”
“Of course he gained a lot of momentum last year, but nothing is guaranteed and keeps working hard. Congratulations to my husband (Spotter) Coleman (Pressley) on the roof. He tries as hard or more I’m proud of him and us will try to do it again (Sunday) I guess. “
The second result was a career best for Moffitt, who previously had a top 5 in the series, a fifth in Talladega.
“Once 22 (Cindric) got up front, I kept pushing him forward every time I approached a car length,” said Moffitt, who followed Cindric in extra time after taking second place from Burton, third , had taken over Finisher.
Harrison’s cousin Jeb Burton finished fourth despite sustaining minor damage to the nose of his # 10 Chevrolet in a three car incident that caused the ninth caution of the planned 120 on lap 114 and established overtime.
AJ Allmendinger was fifth, followed by Brandon Brown, Myatt Snider, Brandon Gdovic (first career top 10), Daniel Hemric and Jason White.
With 15 laps to go, the contact between Ty Dillon’s and Hemric’s Joe Gibbs racing cars rewritten the history of the race. Dillon moved up the distance between cars in the inside and outside lanes. However, when attempting to complete a pass from Hemric, it spun over the nose of Hemric’s Toyota No. 18 and spun, igniting a chain reaction wreck that eliminated a handful of potential race winners and likely championship contenders.
The JR Motorsports cars of Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry were destroyed, as well as the Kaulig Racing # 11 Chevrolet of Justin Haley, who was trying to win his fourth consecutive Superspeedway race in the Xfinity Series – an achievement that only Dale Earnhardt Jr . has reached.
“The 18 (Hemric) hit me so hard in the left rear that it pushed me up the track,” said Dillon, who is racing in the Xfinity Series after four full seasons in the NASCAR Cup.
Allgaier said: “He destroyed the whole field. He had to make a statement. … Unfortunately the guys tried to take steps – veterans who should know better – and make bad decisions.”
On lap 75, nine laps after a restart to begin the final stage, the pit window opened and all hell broke loose on Turn 4 when Cindric slowed down at the head of a group of cars heading for the pit lane. Michael Annett was spun sideways across traffic in a nine-car wreck that wiped out Annett’s No. 1 Chevrolet and No. 9 from JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson, the defending champion.
Bayley Currey’s, Gray Gaulding and Colby Howard’s cars also suffered damage at the end of the race.
“I was destroyed when I got to the pit lane,” said Annett. “I waved her off 10 damn times.”
Stage one winner Brandon Jones saw his fortune change dramatically as he reached the checkered flag to finish Stage Two. Jones steered his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota up the track to pull in the outside lane, but when he returned to the bottom lane his attempt to block Snider’s Chevrolet was too late and Jones rolled over his nose from Snider’s car.
After a wild slide through the rain-soaked infield grass, Jones darted back onto the track and slammed nose first against the outside wall. Cody Ware’s Camaro hit Jones’ car at high speed, and the spinning Toyota cut off Alex Labbe’s Chevrolet. All three cars were destroyed, and NASCAR red flagged the race to clear the debris from the track.
Moffitt won the second stage, Dillon and Cindric behind him in second and third.
Only 22 of the 40 cars that started the race ran for a total of 43 laps at the end of an event with nine warnings.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 40th Annual Beef. It’s something for dinner. 300
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
Saturday February 13th 2021
1. (1) Austin Cindric, Ford, 122.
2. (15) Brett Moffitt (i), Chevrolet, 122.
3. (8) Harrison Burton, Toyota, 122.
4. (7) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 122.
5. (31) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 122.
6. (14) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 122.
7. (11) Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 122.
8. (39) Brandon Gdovic, Toyota, 122.
9. (12) Daniel Hemric, Toyota, 122.
10. (40) Jason White, Ford, 122.
11. (18) Joe Graf Jr., Chevrolet, 122.
12. (38) Caesar Bacarella, Chevrolet, 122.
13. (36) Stefan Parsons, Chevrolet, 122.
14. (32) Ty Dillon, Toyota, 122.
15. (34) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 122.
16. (27) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 122.
17. (24) Jesse Little, Chevrolet, 122.
18. (21) Ryan Vargas, Chevrolet, 122.
19. (28) Danny Bohn (s), Chevrolet, 122.
20. (37) Timmy Hill, Ford, 121.
21. (17) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 120.
22. (16) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 120.
23. (33) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, accident, 114.
24. (22) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, accident, 114.
25. (23) Robby Lyons II, Toyota, accident, 105.
26. (4) Riley Herbst, Ford, Accident, 105.
27. (9) Josh Berry, Chevrolet, accident, 104.
28. (2) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, accident, 104.
29. (3) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, accident, 104.
30. (26) Chad Finchum, Ford, Accident, 104.
31. (13) Ryan Sieg, Ford, DVP, 81.
32. (5) Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, accident, 76.
33. (30) Bayley Currey (i), Chevrolet, accident, 75.
34. (35) Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, accident, 75.
35. (20) Colby Howard, Chevrolet, accident, 75.
36. (10) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, accident, 74.
37. (25) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, accident, 74.
38. (6) Brandon Jones, Toyota, accident, 60.
39. (29) Cody Ware (i), Chevrolet, Accident, 60.
40. (19) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, accident, 60.
Average speed of the race winner: 118,677 mph.
Race time: 2 hours, 34 minutes, 12 seconds. Profit margin: .104 seconds.
Warning flags: 9 for 42 laps.
Change in leadership: 16 out of 11 drivers.
Round leader: A. Cindric 1-2; J. Allgaier 3-10; A. Cindric 11-17; R. autumn 18-29; B. Jones 30-32; R. Sieg 33-35; B. Brown 36; R. Sieg 37-56; B. Moffitt (i) 57-62; T. Hill 63; T. Dillon 64-65; Cindric A. 66-74; J. Haley 75-78; T. Hill 79-81; J. Haley 82-84; H. Burton 85-112; A. Cindric 113-122.
Summary of the leaders (drivers, times, guided laps): Harrison Burton 1 time for 28 laps; Austin Cindric 4 times for 28 rounds; Ryan win 2 times for 23 rounds; Riley Herbst 1 time for 12 rounds; Justin Allgaier 1 time for 8 rounds; Justin Haley 2 times for 7 rounds; Brett Moffitt (i) 1 time for 6 rounds; Timmy Hill 2 times for 4 rounds; Brandon Jones 1 time for 3 rounds; Ty Dillon 1 time for 2 rounds; Brandon Brown 1 time for 1 round.
Level 1 top ten: 19,98,54,22,9,18,7,20,39,68
Level 2 top ten: 02,54,22,11,68,39,51,2,9,8
– Posted by Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service. Especially for media at field level.