DAYTONA, Fla. - Riley Herbst registered his third straight top-10 finish while Austin Cindric got wrecked for the second straight week as Ford teams ended up on both sides of the spectrum in Saturday’s rain-delayed Wawa 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
Herbst, working with Stewart-Haas teammate Chase Briscoe all day, led nine laps in Stage 2 and had a race-winning Ford Mustang, but track position didn’t come his way and he found himself too far back in the pack down the stretch. Still, he was able to increase his lead over Michael Annett for the final points position in the NASCAR XFINITY Series playoff standings with three races to go in the regular season. Herbst holds a 68-point advantage over Annett.
Cindric also had a race-winning car and showed how fast he was on Friday night when he moved up from his starting spot of 14th to 4th before the race was postponed due to rain after 19 laps. He was running up front when the race resumed Saturday afternoon, but when Myatt Snider attempted to bump draft Cindric through the tri-oval, he ended up sending him into the outside wall on lap 27.
That ended Cindric’s day in 39th place and saw his points lead over A.J. Allmendinger, who finished second behind race-winner and Kaulig Racing teammate Justin Haley, disappear. Cindric, who entered the race with a 35-point lead, now finds himself in second-place, 17 points behind Allmendinger, with three races remaining in the regular season.
Ryan Sieg finished 16th and Briscoe 19th to round out the Ford results.
The series’ next race is Saturday, Sept. 4 at Darlington Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
FORD FINISHING RESULTS
10th -- Riley Herbst
16th -- Ryan Sieg
19th -- Chase Briscoe
39th -- Austin Cindric
RILEY HERBST, No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO FINISH 10TH WITH A MUSTANG THAT UNDER DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES COULD HAVE WON?
“It kind of sucks to be honest with you, but that’s just the racer in me. Overall, it was a really, really good day for our year and our points situation. We’ll take it, but, man, finishing 10th with a first-place car is always a gut punch.”
YOU WERE IN THE BOTTOM LINE TRYING TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN, BUT IT DIDN’T MATERIALIZE FAST ENOUGH.
“It’s just a matter of numbers. I don’t know. More cars on the top is faster than less cars on the bottom.”
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN YOU SAW THE 1 CAR HAVE ITS PROBLEM EARLY ON? DID THAT CHANGE YOUR THINKING IN TERMS OF LOOKING AT THE BIG PICTURE?
“I think we had to play it safe, but, I don’t know, I just want to win a race and show people that I can win a race in this series. We’ll go to Darlington, I guess.”
THREE TO GO IN THE REGULAR SEASON. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR CONSISTENCY GOING INTO THIS STRETCH?
“Good. I feel like this is not a surprise to us. We just haven’t finished earlier on in the season. We’re where we’re supposed to be. We’re running up front and leading laps, so it’s a good day.”
RYAN SIEG, No. 39 CMR Construction and Roofing/A-Game Ford Mustang
“The car that blew up on the bottom kind of messed up the momentum pretty bad that we had there, but it is what it is. We were in the lead pack when we needed to be, but once you get single-file like that there’s not a whole lot that can go on and then we got mired back in traffic. I slipped through the stall that one time and kind of set us back. We recovered, but once you’re seventh or eighth in one line and there are two lanes, you’re pretty far back and it’s hard to do anything. Our Ford Mustang had plenty of power. It drafted well, it just needed a little bit of track position. We’ll work on it and try to get her better for Talladega.”
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 22 Car Shop Ford Mustang
“I got spun through the tri-oval. Obviously, everyone is trying to push lanes there, but it’s just really unfortunate. That’s two weeks in a row for our Ford Mustangs to get torn up -- two cars that I thought were race-winning cars, so a lot of points lost today and a lot of work to do for the next three weeks. A lot of work that a lot of the year you can look at it both ways -- half full or half empty -- that s gonna be put in jeopardy, so very frustrating. We’ll move on. That’s racing and sometimes it takes one and that’s it.”