Sports felt the wrath of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 with the loss of full seasons. While NASCAR eventually raced, they did lose several races. One track to lose a NASCAR event was the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. That wasn’t news Austin Cindric wanted to hear.
After a dominating win in 2019, Cindric has done a lot to improve his road course skills. This isn’t something the competition wants to hear.
Mid-Ohio is a challenging 13 turn road course that tests even the best road course racers. With its tight and sometimes blind corners, contact is part of the game. Cindric described Mid-Ohio as “the short track of road courses” on the NASCAR schedule.
He went on to say, “Our cars don’t stop or turn very well, and there is a lot of that at Mid-Ohio.”
Cindric has only had two starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the Lexington, Ohio road course, but to say that he knows how to get his car stopped and turned would be an understatement.
The No. 22 Penske Racing team has led 105 of the 150 laps with Cindric behind the wheel.
Those types of numbers are impressive considering Mid-Ohio’s reputation for “trading a little paint.” But, Cindric did say that the composite bodies on these Xfinity cars allow for running together without having too much risk of damage to your car.
In fact, Cindric would go on to say that these cars at Mid-Ohio “encourage impatience in some areas of the race track.”
Mid-Ohio is a popular stop for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, not only for the drivers but for the fans as well. Cindric says, “Impatience and willingness to get a little aggressive is one of the reasons fans love this place.”
While Cindric’s focus is on another NASCAR Xfinity Series championship, he knows the future is bright, and his NASCAR Cup Series career awaits in 2022. Cindric has one more scheduled Cup start in 2021. He and the No. 33 team will celebrate the 4th of July at Road America. Cindric said the Cup Series at Road America is going to be a “madhouse” and is glad he got the “hard” races out of the way in his Cup learning curve.
It was good to get the Daytona 500 out of the way, along with 500 miles at Atlanta, a short track at Richmond, then Kansas and COTA. “All of these challenges are going to help me move on to next season,” Cindric noted.
Cindric confirmed he is looking forward to his rookie campaign, even with the Next Gen car. He says, “The tracks are the same, but getting this seat time is as much about learning the competitors as it is the cars. They stay the same, the challenges are the same and there is nowhere to hide.”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will go for 75 laps on Saturday afternoon, all while welcoming fans back with open arms and smiles. This will be the first event following Ohio’s health orders being lifted.
It aims to be a hefty crowd for the eighth running of the B&L Transport 150, even with limited capacity.
Listen to the full interview with Austin Cindric as he talks more about Mid-Ohio, communication with multiple crew chiefs, 2022, Indycar, and more.