Austin Cindric (@AustinCindric) made his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start behind the wheel of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150 in the Lucas Oil 150 Friday night at Phoenix (Avondale, Ariz.) International Raceway. And for the second time in his young career, the 17-year old driver did a most respectable job.
Cindric was credited with a 14th place finish at the quirky one mile desert oval - a solid job considering he had never seen the track before walking through the gates on Thursday morning before practice.
Cindric qualified 21st and made his first pit stop under the third caution of the race on lap 41. The team changed four tires and gave a round of adjustments but was penalized for an uncontrolled tire during the stop. The end result was that Cindric restarted at the tail end of the field in 24th position when the race went green on lap 44.
Two laps later the fourth yellow of the 150-lap race slowed the pace. Crew chief Chad Kendrick called Cindric to pit road for a splash of fuel and a chassis adjustment on lap 49 and he restarted 19th when the race went green on lap 51.
From this point forward Austin did an admirable job of patiently working his way through traffic. He was up to 15th by lap 60 and picked off 14th place by lap 80, just past the halfway mark of the event.
But the combination of fast race pace and a young driver becoming familiar with the nuances of a challenging track dropped Cindric from the lead lap on lap 92. Try as they might over the final 40 laps, the 29 truck couldn't get into position to receive the free pass back on the lead lap. He was credited with 14th place in the final rundown.