AUDIO/FEATURE: Flat Tire Spoils Cindric’s Chance at Kentucky ARCA Win; Relegates Young Gun to 17th

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SPARTA, Ky. — Audio and story by Race Chaser Online Associate Editor Kyle Magda — Doug Donnelly/ARCA photo —

It appeared Austin Cindric was on his way to becoming ARCA’s youngest superspeedway winner Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway.

The 17-year-old had a 1.5-second lead with 20 laps to go until the left-front tire went flat on his No. 99 AutoZone Ford.

“We had a restart and Ryan Reed and I rubbed wheels going into [Turn] 1 and no matter whose fault it was, all I know is that it happened and it cut down my left-front tire a couple laps later,” Cindric said.

He grabbed the lead after pitting during a caution for a rain shower while others stayed out to see if the race restarted or not. Once the green flag flew again, Cindric was three-wide with Cunningham Motorsports teammate Kyle Weatherman and eventual race winner Reed.

The No. 99 car stayed on the outside and powered away from the two.

“I wasn’t too sure if that was going to work out alright,” Cindric said.  “I knew Ryan’s a pretty aggressive driver and I know Kyle pretty well, I could trust him. I knew with these cars, once you start getting close to each other in the turns, the bottom got real loose and I could see Kyle struggling and I was starting to struggle and we were all leaning on each other pretty hard. It was close, but I ended up pulling away just enough out of [Turns] 3 and 4 to clear them both.”

Cindric rolled off from the fourth position in Saturday’s Crosley Brands 150 and ran third for most of the race’s first 40 laps. He learned a lot while running behind second-place Travis Braden and in traffic when the leaders caught lapped cars at a torrid pace.

“It started getting a bit pushier,” Cindric said about the first run. “I think I made a couple mistakes running behind in traffic, but trying to get around the o1 car, I just washed up too much, got into his dirty air, and lost quite a lot of time. That set up the 69 to get by me and then the 52 got by me, he used a car in traffic, more or less as a pick. I got by him right before the rain came out.”

When a brief shower came over the speedway, the Cunningham cars and Reed all came down pit road under the long caution — which set up the incredible race for the lead. Weatherman began to fade while Cindric and Reed stayed up front.

Cindric hadn’t seen the last of Reed, once the yellow flew for Bobby Gerhart’s crash on lap 69 to set up the restart that ultimately flattened his tire, but the equal story for the rising star was the new body he was running on his Cunningham Motorsports Ford..

The son of Penske Racing president Tim Cindric made one previous ARCA start in July at Iowa Speedway when the series ran in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series, running ARCA’s new composite body and leading 29 laps en-route to a fourth-place finish. However, because ARCA doesn’t allow teams to run the new style bodies on the superspeedways yet, the 17-year-old got to try out his hand with the steel-bodied car during the week at Kentucky Speedway.

“It’s still hard to say,” Cindric said about the cars. “I think I have a back-to-back one or at least drive a composite body car on an intermediate track or vice versa. I think the steel-bodied car is a a bit more sensitive and also think that it has a lot more aerodynamic properties working on it, but the composite body car is a great car. I proved that it can be just as competitive as the steel-bodied car when I was at Iowa, so I hope we see more of the composite cars going forward.”

In his two ARCA starts, the Columbus, Ohio native has combined to lead 56 laps and was a factor for the win in both.

Cindric won’t be at the open Kansas ARCA test on Tuesday, as he will be running at Road Atlanta for Multimatic Motorsports in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series.

The youngster has also driven in Global RallyCross in 2015. Cindric is currently tied with Miles Maroney in the GRC Lites championship at 369 points as the series goes to Barbados this weekend for a double-header.

The lesson from all that:  No matter the type of machine, expect the 17-year-old to be in a race car.


Audio with Austin Cindric following the Crosley Brands 150 at Kentucky:


About the Writer

Kyle Magda is Race Chaser Online’s Associate Editor and a co-host of both Motorsports Madness and the Stock Car Steel/SRI Motorsports Show, airing at 7 p.m. ET on Monday and Thursday nights, respectively, on the Performance Motorsports Network. Magda broke into racing in mid-2001 as the sport’s tide was beginning to change towards the current modern-era formula, but still has an affinity for the history of NASCAR’s earlier days.

The 22-year-old currently studies print journalism at Penn State University and can be found traveling to numerous tracks across the country, covering everything from NASCAR and the ARCA Racing Series to the UNOH All-Stars Circuit of Champions and the Super Cup Stock Car Series.

Email Kyle at:

Follow on Twitter: @KyleMagda

Follow Race Chaser Online: @RaceChaserNews

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