Austin Cindric won his first career oval race at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday night and answered it with the most dominant win of his career in Friday night’s Alsco 300, the second half of the Bluegrass State NASCAR Xfinity Series doubleheader.
Cindric led 130 of the 200 laps in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford – nearly doubling the most laps he has ever led in a race – and finished 2.262 seconds ahead of fellow Ford driver Chase Briscoe. It marks the first time a driver has won NASCAR national series races on consecutive nights at the same track since Richard Petty did it in 1971.
“I’m just so excited, this is all a credit to my team,” Cindric said. “What we did tonight was really impressive because we came with one setup last night and won the race and came with another setup tonight and won again. That happens at the shop and with the guys on the box so all the credit to them, I’m the lucky one who gets to drive.”
Kaulig Racing teammates Justin Haley and Ross Chastain finished third and fourth, respectively, followed by JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier. Anthony Alfredo, Noah Gragson, Michael Annett, Daniel Hemric and Riley Herbst rounded out the top 10 in order.
As Cindric was celebrating the fourth win of his career on the frontstretch, however, Gragson and 12th-place finisher Harrison Burton were involved in a pushing match by their parked cars. The two collided in the final laps, both brushing the wall before continuing on.
As the laps led total indicates, this was the most dominant victory of the 21-year-old Cindric’s career – both in laps out front and the way he did it. He was leading the field by almost 12 seconds when a caution came out with 22 laps remaining for an incident between Brandon Jones and Hemric, who were running second and third at the time.
Both Jones and Hemric hit the wall racing hard side by side for second place. Hemric was able to continue, but Jones’ car was badly damaged.
The front-runners opted to pit during the ensuing caution period, and Cindric won the race off pit road, holding the point for the remaining 13-lap green-flag run on the 1.5-mile track.
Beyond Cindric’s Kentucky domination, perhaps the night’s next most impressive work came from veteran Allgaier, who rallied to his fifth-place finish after going a lap down almost immediately on the night. A piece of Kyle Weatherman’s wrecked Chevrolet impacted Allgaier’s No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet on the opening lap of the race. Allgaier had to come in for repairs and spent the night rallying to his first top-five run in more than a month.
The Xfinity Series’ next race is scheduled July 18 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM) at Texas Motor Speedway.