“I Am Pretty Focused”- Austin Cindric Reveals Thoughts Ahead of 2021 Daytona 500 Ride With Team Penske

Published 01/21/2021, 11:24 AM EST
LEXINGTON, OHIO – AUGUST 10: Austin Cindric, driver of the #22 PPG Ford, wins the pole award at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)


Slowly moving up the ladder of stock car racing is the 22-year-old Austin Cindric. The 2020 Xfinity Series champion has already created a buzz around himself early in his racing career.

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Recently, the announcement came forth that he would drive in the upcoming Daytona 500 race in February in the Team Penske’s No.33 car. Needless to say, he expressed his delight at getting the chance to do so.

Cindric stated, “What a cool opportunity for me obviously to try and make my first start in the Daytona 500. This year it sounds like that’s going to be a bigger challenge than probably in the years prior.

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“So looking forward to tackling that head-on and getting started here in a few weeks.”

Some added pressure for the Daytona 500, said the 2020 Xfinity Series champion

“Of all the crown jewel races that are there in NASCAR. Really, out of all the races in the world, the Daytona 500 is one of the biggest.

“So definitely there’s some added pressure for that, our first hurdle is to get into the race. I am pretty focused on that, as you can tell.”

Cindric will still invest his primary focus on defending the Xfinity Series title this year. But he has also made his intentions clear to try out a variety of races at different venues to gain further racing experience.

ICYMI: @AustinCindric joined @DGodfatherMoody on #SXMSpeedway to talk about today’s announcement that he will attempt to make the #Daytona500 in the No. 33 @Team_Penske Ford. @NASCAR | @FordPerformance | @DAYTONA pic.twitter.com/uaVTHZroLQ

— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) January 20, 2021

He continued, “As far as races that we’re gonna do, we don’t have a set schedule as yet. My desire is to drive as many different racetracks as possible.

“I want to add to the notebook as much as I can this year and really figure out what my strengths and weaknesses are heading into a full-season ride in 2022.”

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Austin Cindric will shift to the Cup Series full-time in 2022 with Wood Brothers Racing

The Team Penske No.22 in the Xfinity Series will attempt a partial Cup schedule in 2021. Following that, the idea is for him to transit and take over full-time duties at the associate team, Wood Brothers Racing.

SPARTA, KENTUCKY – JULY 10: Austin Cindric, driver of the #22 Snap-On Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

With his plan for the next couple of years in place, Cindric can focus on developing himself as a top-notch driver. His participation in the Daytona 500 could then be a case of making the first step towards a potentially bright Cup Series career.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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