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In compiling a series-best four NASCAR Xfinity victories so far this season, Austin Cindric has won on four distinctly different tracks — the Daytona superspeedway; the flat, one-mile asphalt Phoenix; the high-banked, one-mile concrete at Dover; and the 2.5-mile triangular Pocono, with its three distinct corners.
A surprising absence from Cindric‘s resume this year is a road course win — given that road course racing generally is acknowledged as his forte. But the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford hopes to correct that omission in Saturday‘s Henry 180 at Road America (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
The defending winner of last year‘s Xfinity Series race at the 4.048-mile circuit, Cindric also will race in the Cup event there on Sunday.
“It‘s just a classic race track,” Cindric says. “There‘s no two ways about it. I‘m excited for this weekend, mainly because Road America always pulls a great crowd. It‘s a great atmosphere.
“It‘s Fourth of July weekend, and I feel like there‘s a really passionate short-track racing fan base in that part of the country, and that part of the country hasn‘t had a Cup race in I don‘t know how long. So I‘m excited to see the turnout. It should be a really fun weekend.”
Cindric will face stiff competition if he hopes to go back-to-back at Road America. Road course ace AJ Allmendinger and JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier are Xfinity Series regulars who have won at the track.
In addition, NASCAR Cup Series stars Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are competing in the lower series to get additional track time. Busch won his 100th Xfinity Series race June 19 at Nashville Superspeedway, extending his own series record.
“Being able to come to a new track — when everything was announced that we were coming here — I wanted to run there as much as I could,” says Busch, who has never raced at Road America. “We were able to work it out so both myself and Ty (Gibbs) can run here, as well, so I think it‘s beneficial for both of us.
“He loves road racing, too. It was kind of a perfect scenario — being able to get in the Xfinity Series and be able to practice in both of those races. I‘m hoping it will be a really good weekend for us.”
Gibbs has posted seven top fives in eight starts in a part-time role this year. He won at the Daytona Road Course in his first start in the series and picked up a second victory on the Charlotte oval. Because both Gibbs and Busch are competing in the Xfinity race, Gibbs will drive the No. 81 Toyota instead of the No. 54, which Busch will drive.