Austin Cindric charges to Xfinity championship in overtime

Dustin Long
·2 min read

Austin Cindric passed Justin Allgaier on the last lap of overtime to win Saturday’s Xfinity race at Phoenix Raceway to claim his first series championship.

Overtime was set up when Chase Briscoe spun with three laps left in the scheduled distance. Allgaier inherited the lead because he stayed out, having put on his last set of tires earlier. Cindric gave up the lead to pit for fresh tires – fresh tires helped Sheldon Creed win Friday night’s Truck Series race in overtime and collect the crown. Cindric restarted third behind Allgaier.

They made contact coming to the white flag as Cindric squeezed between Allgaier and Noah Gragson. Cindric slipped through and pulled away to win.

“I’m speechless,” Cindric told NBCSN. “I’m pretty humbled by the effort.”

MORE: Race results

The victory is the sixth of the year for the 22-year-old Cindric, who will return to the series next year before moving full-time to Cup in 2022.

Allgaier finished fifth.

“We did all we could right there,” Allgaier said on the radio to his team after the race.

Championship 4 driver Justin Haley finished eighth. Briscoe, who won a series-high nine races, finished ninth.

“Frustrating day,” Briscoe told NBCSN. “I’ve got to do a lot better job coming here. Something about this place that I struggle with.”

Cindric, Allgaier and Haley each will be back in the series next year. Briscoe is moving to Cup next year to take over Clint Bowyer‘s ride at Stewart-Haas Racing.

“Super excited, super blessed to have another shot at it,” Haley told NBCSN of having another chance at the Xfinity Series title next year. “That’s what makes this (not) sting as much because I know next year I can come back and get it.”

Gragson finished second. Brandon Jones, who won at Phoenix in March, was third. Michael Annett was fourth.

Read more about NASCAR

Long: Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson share a moment in time Phoenix winners and losers What drivers said after Phoenix

STAGE 1 WINNER: Chase Briscoe

STAGE 2 WINNER: Austin Cindric

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Runner-up Noah Gragson finished the season with three consecutive top-three finishes. … Third-place finisher Brandon Jones finished with his most top fives in a season with 10. … Fourth-place finisher Michael Annett finished with a career-high 22 top 10s this season.

NOTABLE: Austin Cindric’s last-lap pass for the win was the seventh such finish this season, a series record. … Chevrolet won the manufacturer championship for the Xfinity Series. … Harrison Burton won Rookie of the Year.

NEXT: The series is off until returning to Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 13, 2021.

Austin Cindric charges to Xfinity championship in overtime originally appeared on NBCSports.com