Reigning series champion Austin Cindric wins Xfinity opener at Daytona

Austin Cindric celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Austin Cindric commemorates in Success Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. (John Raoux / Associated Press)

Austin Cindric, winner of in 2015’s NASCAR Xfinity Series, began the brand-new season off well with an overtime success on Saturday at the Daytona International Speedway. In a race that had 9 care flags, he rallied to win over Brett Moffitt by .105 seconds.

It was Cindric’s ninth win on the Xfinity Series, which he would likely trade for a top-10 surface in the Daytona 500 on Sunday. He will begin 39th in the 40-car field.

Cindric began on the pole for the NASCAR Xfinity race.

“The thing that’s really cool about winning [Saturday] is that I’ve won on the road course here,” Cindric stated. “I’ve won on the superspeedway, and I won the rallycross race they had here, so anything with four wheels, man, Daytona I guess is a decent place.

“I’m just excited that I get to come back here tomorrow and run in front of a great group of people. We have fans here. I’m excited for the Great American Race.”

The greatest pile-up took place with 16 laps staying when there was a 14-car mishap sped up by tight racing in between colleagues Ty Dillon and Daniel Hemric. Both drive for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Pole-sitter issues?

Alex Bowman, after winning the pole for the Daytona 500, was absolutely nothing however pedestrian in the very first of Thursday’s twin 150 certifying races. He ended up 20th out of 22 cars and trucks. Considering that he had actually currently certified in the very first position, his only objective was to avoid trashing the cars and truck, however still the uninspired surface triggered concerns.

“In the 150s, we had a vibration issue that we had to investigate,” stated Greg Ives, team chief for Bowman. “We initially thought it was an engine issue, but fortunately it wasn’t. The team was able to diagnose and fix it. We didn’t get a whole lot of practice [Saturday], but Alex felt everything was fine.”

Front to back

William Byron certified on the exterior of the front row for the Daytona 500, however he got captured up in a wreck throughout the second of the 150-mile certifying races and will utilize a backup cars and truck that will begin at the back of the pack.

“Even though we didn’t get to make a timed lap in practice” Saturday because of rain, “I’m still confident in the backup car the guys brought us,” Byron stated. “It’s actually the car we won Daytona with last year in August and then we ran it again at Talladega in the fall and got a top-five finish. It’s been fast every time it’s been on the track, and I think it will be again when we get to the race [Sunday].

“Obviously, we didn’t want to go to a backup car, but I think we’re still in a really good place for the 500. We’ll definitely be good to go.”

This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Times.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.