KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A pair of Ford Mustangs landed inside the top-5 Saturday at Kansas with Austin Cindric finishing second and Ryan Sieg fifth in the Kansas Lotter 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race.
Cindric led seven different times for a race-high 151 laps and was the Stage 2 winner, but saw his lead disappear with 10 to go to eventual winner Ty Gibbs.
Gibbs’ victory as a non-playoff driver means that at least three drivers will advance to the Championship 4 on points after next Saturday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. That’s good news for Cindric and AJ Allmendinger (third Saturday), who have made a habit of swapping the series lead this year.
Cindric and Allmendinger leave Kansas 47 points above the cutoff for the Championship 4, and barring disaster at NASCAR’s shortest track, both will earn spots in the title race Nov. 6 at Phoenix Raceway.
The Championship 4 will be set following next Saturday’s race (6 pm ET, NBCSN & MRN Radio) at Martinsville.
FORD FINISHING RESULTS
2nd -- Austin Cindric
5th -- Ryan Sieg
13th -- Riley Herbst
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Odyssey Batteries Ford Mustang -- Finished 2nd
“It was a great points day in our Odyssey Battery Ford Mustang. I really would have loved to lock our way in and race for a win at Martinsville, that would be huge for us. Congrats to the 54, Ty (Gibbs). That whole team has been on it no matter who is in the car. They have earned it. It sucks to lose one that late in the race. Not the first time, but I didn’t spontaneously crash in the playoff Kansas race this time, so it is okay I guess. I hate losing but we will move on. In the bigger picture, it was a good day.”
WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED AT THE END?
“A little bit of this, a little bit of that. I feel like those guys were the class of the field today between the 54 and the 20. I feel like I could hold my own with the track position and we did a good job being consistent and not making mistakes today. Maybe if I didn’t enter as high I could have maybe air-blocked a little better. The cooler it got the freer I was getting. I thought the tire cycle would help me, but it didn’t help me. I would have loved the win to lock our way in, but it is better than crashing out at a Kansas playoff race like I have the last three years. We led a lot of laps but finished second, but it could have been a lot worse.”
HOW SURPRISED ARE YOU THAT NOBODY HAS CLINCHED A SPOT IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP 4 YET?
“I think the better question is how surprised am I that the 54 has won two races in a row. I am not surprised in the slightest. Those guys have done an incredible job all year. They have won a lot of races with a lot of different drivers. Sometimes it is a challenge to try to beat that some days.”
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE GOING INTO MARTINSVILLE WITH THE POINTS LEAD YOU HAVE?
“I am more comfortable than anyone else can be I guess. The good thing about Martinsville is it takes a lot to hit hard enough to get you out of the race. We probably just need to finish that one and we will be in the show. That is really all that matters for us but I would really like to try to race for a win at Martinsville.”
RYAN SIEG, No. 39 CMR Construction and Roofing Ford Mustang -- Finished 5th
“It was a great day. We had a fast CMR Roofing Ford Mustang. We were just a little off at the beginning from what I needed. The guys made great adjustments on it and got it better and we got closer and closer to the front. The strategy worked out for us and we were able to come out of there with a top five. A good day for us, great day for the team.”