TALLADEGA, Ala. - Austin Cindric clinched a spot in the Round of 8 after his eighth-place finish led Ford in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Cindric led 10 laps and was in contention all afternoon, but a series of multi-car accidents in the final two stages resulted in a pair of flags which eventually forced NASCAR officials to call the race six laps before it’s scheduled distance due to darkness.
Riley Herbst led a race-high 26 laps as he and Cindric worked well together at the front of the pack. Needing a win to automatically advance to the next round, Herbst was in position until he got hit from behind on lap 90 and suffered rear-end damage. That forced him to pit road for repairs and put him in the back of the field, where he got collected in a seven-car accident with 11 laps remaining. That ended his afternoon in 27th place.
Ryan Sieg finished 11th to round out the Ford lineup.
With one race remaining in the Round of 12, Herbst finds himself in a must-win situation as he stands 32 points below the cutoff.
That chance to advance comes on Saturday on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (3 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM).
FORD FINISHING RESULTS
8th -- Austin Cindric
11th -- Ryan Sieg
15th -- Joey Gase
27th -- Riley Herbst
28th -- Jason White
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Carquest Ford Mustang
“As far as I understand we’ve advanced onto the next round, so it’s kind of job accomplished for the day. I felt like there were an equal amount of good moves and moves I shouldn’t have made today. I was just trying to be aggressive and gain track position. The track raced a little different today than it usually does, but Riley and I were able to work well through a lot of the day. A lot of that work together is paying off, so, overall a solid day. I think it’s probably one of the fastest speedway cars I’ve had to be honest, so thanks to Roush Yates and obviously the Penske guys. This car has won Daytona, was second here in the spring race and advanced us into the next round of the playoffs, so it’s a pretty good car.”
YOU AND RILEY TOOK TURNS PUSHING AND HELPING EACH OTHER. HOW DID THAT WORK FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE?
“I think it worked out well. I tried to be mama bear for the first two stages, just protecting the runs that came and it felt like we both did about as good a job as we could. After we had that restart near the end of stage three I pulled up when I probably shouldn’t have to cover the top and the bottom ended up being super dominant, so that’s just the way it goes.”
RILEY HERBST, No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
“We were doing everything to plan and then I think with 10 or 20 laps to go the incident came and somebody from behind me didn’t use their brake pedal and knocked the back of our race car off, so we had to come down pit road and fix that, and then that obviously put us in the hornet’s nest and the top three-wide. At that point, I knew we were gonna be wrecked. It’s just a shame that they hit us from the back and we had to come back down pit road and fix it or else we could have restarted and stayed up front where we were all day. We led a lot of laps. We got a lot of points, but we just didn’t finish well. I think we’ve got to go win the Roval now.”