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Daytona 500 Winner Austin Cindric Reveals Life-Changing NASCAR Story to Dale Earnhardt Jr

Published 03/19/2022, 10:07 AM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

It should come as a surprise, the reaction of his father when Austin Cindric confessed about his racing ambitions. Although the way he put it was less than ideal.

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Cindric comes from a family that has racing in their blood. His maternal grandfather, Jim Trueman, was an IndyCar team owner, his paternal grandfather Carl Cindric used to build engines, while his father, Tim Cindric, is the longtime president of Team Penske.

But when the Penske driver told his father the path he wants to take, his father didn’t exactly endear that idea.


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In a recent episode of the Dale Jr. Download, Austin Cindric recalled the first time he let his parents in on his desire to be a racecar driver.

He said, “I walked in my parent’s bedroom one night when I was nine years old. And it’s kind of a weird way to put it and I had no idea why I did, but I said, ‘I wanna have a life-changing discussion.'”

“My parents were like, ‘What is this?’ And I’m like, ‘I wanna be a racecar driver. I’ve always wanted to be one, I want to try, I want to do it,’” Cindric continued. “And my dad’s instantly like, ‘You’re gonna be too tall.'”

“‘What about Michael Waltrip? What about Justin Wilson?’ I hit him back with those two and he was like, ‘Okay.'”

Tim Cindric recalls what he told Austin Cindric about his path to racing

In an interview with ESPN, Tim Cindric spoke about his advice to his son regarding his career choice.

“I always told him that there was never going to be a parachute from mom and dad,” Tim Cindric said. “He was probably 10 years old and racing really wasn’t the road I wanted him to take.”


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“I told him when he was in high school that we’d been able to help him up to then, but he was going to have to go to college or if he went racing, he’d have to find his own way in racing.”

USA Today via Reuters

These comments by Tim Cindric came right after his son Austin Cindric won the Daytona 500 as a rookie.


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Clearly, Austin Cindric found his own path to racing, something that began with “a life-changing discussion”.

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Written by:

Shaharyar Khan Chauhan


One take at a time

Shaharyar is an F1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for a better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.
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Edited by:

Ankit Sharma