TALLADEGA, Ala. - Austin Cindric led a parade of three Fords to top-five finishes in Saturday’s rain-shortened NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Cindric ended up second behind race-winner Jeb Burton after rain pelted the 2.66-mile superspeedway with 24 laps remaining. NASCAR called the event shortly after the brief downpour because of the time it would have taken to dry the track and the fact Talladega has no lights.
Cindric was followed in the top five by Riley Herbst in fourth and Ryan Sieg in fifth. The three Ford teams spent most of the race separated, but Cindric still managed to finish fourth in stage one and third in stage two. He led four times for a race-high 24 laps and now has six top-five finishes in eight starts this season.
Herbst and Sieg finally found Cindric late in the third stage and worked their way to the front, only to have the rain spoil any chance at victory for one of the three. It was Herbst’s third top 10 in the last four races while Sieg registered his first top-five of the season.
The series will take a week off before returning to action on May 8 at Darlington Raceway.
Ford Finishing Results
2nd -- Austin Cindric
4th-- Riley Herbst
5th -- Ryan Sieg
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Snap-On Ford Mustang
HOW WAS YOUR DAY?
“We obviously led a lot of laps and were just able to get hooked up with our Ford teammates there. That was the most fun I’ve had in a while and really proud of Riley and Ryan. We’ve done a lot of work over the last couple weeks after Daytona to try and get better together and that’s hard when you’re not working on the same race team, so props to those guys, props to Ford Performance for giving us a platform for that. Our Snap-On Tools Ford Mustang was really fast, but the rain came at the wrong time -- maybe a lap too soon, I don’t know. Jeb has done a good job here in the past, so congrats to him. It’s always cool to get your first.”
CINDRIC POST-RACE PRESS CONFERENCE
HOW DISAPPOINTING IS IT TO NOT BE ABLE TO RACE FOR IT AT THE END?
“We brought the same car from Daytona, had the same speed and hoping to get the same result. That’s a bit disappointing, but these races are so challenging, especially when you have the quality cars that we do in the field. There’s a lot of guys that are maximizing being able to use teammates today and that probably bit me a few times in the stages, but my Ford boys came through for me at the end, which was awesome because I’ve never had the opportunity to do that in these cars Those guys pulling out of line worked with me. We worked back to the front snaked together and that was a lot of fun, so that’s the biggest positive I’m taking away. We sat down. It’s three different teams and that’s pretty hard to find, so I’m really proud of Riley and proud of Ryan and hope that I can repay that favor because that was big and helped us all gain spots. The One Ford mentality really pulled through today. I appreciate Ford Performance’s effort to have us be able to do that, but I really wish we would have been able to get the Snap-On Tools Ford Mustang in Victory Lane. There is a part of me that felt like I could have pulled out on the back straightaway and maybe got a sidedraft, but I didn’t want to leave my train hanging, but if I would have done that, maybe I would have won the race. Who knows? But you never know when it’s gonna rain or when there’s gonna be a caution, so that’s the way it goes. Second place ain’t bad, a clean race car and good points.”
DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE 22 TEAM AND PENSKE HAS THE DOMINANT SUPERSPEEDWAY PROGRAM RIGHT NOW?
“I wouldn’t go that far. We’ve come a long way from not even being able to qualify inside the top 15 to bringing cars with top five speed, so I know that’s hard to believe and hard to comprehend, especially when you have the support from Roush Yates, but we’ve come a long way and made a lot of improvements in our cars and it’s shown, and I’ve become a better plate racer because of it and between the work I do with my spotter, Coleman Pressley, and the prep work we do as a group before the race weekend, I think it makes everything work at the highest level, so I’m proud of that. I’m proud to see the fruits of that effort pay off and we’ll keep going.”
DID YOU HAVE ANY SENSE THE RAIN WAS COMING AND WERE YOU SURPRISED THE RACE DIDN’T GET RESUMED?
“I do feel like it was called fairly quick, but it is a pretty big racetrack and obviously they have a schedule to keep and no lights, so it’s up to NASCAR. I don’t even know what time of day it is, but we knew the rain was coming. We knew it was gonna be a challenge throughout the whole day. Honestly, coming into this weekend I think everybody in the garage area can agree that the fact that we even got laps in today with a 100 percent chance of rain in the forecast was pretty good, so glad we got the race in. I’m glad we didn’t have to stay a couple extra days and I just wish we maybe would have had a few more laps there.”
RILEY HERBST, No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
“It was kind of hectic. We only have a few teammates. I honestly have no teammates, so just working with the manufacturer, Ford, but we couldn’t find them for the whole day and then finally there at the last five or six laps we found them, the 39 and the 22. It kind of sucks that we can’t race for a win here, but with our last couple of finishes I’m kind of happy with a fourth-place finish. It’s bittersweet, but thank you to Monster Energy, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Performance. We’re looking forward to Darlington.”