Team Penske NASCAR Cup Series Race Report – Darlington




RACE RUNDOWN: Austin Cindric rallied back to finish with a solid 19th-place finish in Sunday afternoon’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway after being involved in an incident early in Stage 3. Starting 25th, Cindric reported a free-handling Freightliner Ford Mustang at the beginning of the first 90-lap segment but gained a few positions from starting spot to conclude Stage 1 in the 21st position. Following a trip down pit road for service under the Stage break, the 24-year-old racer lined up 22nd for the restart. Cindric hovered around that spot for much of Stage 2, finishing the segment 22nd and continuing to report a free-handling racecar. Shortly after the kickoff to the final Stage, Cindric was collected in an accident that caused serious damage to the No. 2 Ford Mustang. Having to pit multiple times for repairs, Cindric slipped back in the running order and went a lap down. The Freightliner team remained focused for the remainder of the race, ultimately returning to the lead lap to score a 19th-place finish.

CINDRIC’S THOUGHTS: “I thought our Freightliner Ford Mustang was actually pretty strong, just lacked track position early in the race. I was able to progress forward on most runs and make up some spots, so I’m happy with that. I’m happy with the package we showed up with this weekend, just not a lot to show for it. I got in that wreck on the back straightaway and the team did an incredible job to fix the right front and the right rear to get us back out there and eventually get back on the lead lap. Definitely feel like we left something on the table as far as what our car had, but that’s the way it goes.”

Cindric is currently 20th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings.









RACE RUNDOWN: Ryan Blaney led Team Penske to the green flag of Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway from the 11th starting position and dealt with minor handling issues in the corners on the first two green flag runs of the day. The No. 12 team made adjustments to equalize the balance during the first two pit stops of the afternoon, resulting in a 14th-place finish in Stage 1. Blaney and the No. 12 team opted to long-pit as green flag stops began to cycle during Stage 2, allowing Blaney to take the lead on lap 141 before coming down pit road for four tires and another round of adjustments. Blaney rejoined the field in the top-15, but quickly made his way towards the top-10 in the following laps before settling into ninth in the closing laps of the stage. He went on to cross the line eighth at the end of Stage 2 under caution. Blaney began to find success running the wall and had a strong drive-off in the corners, but experienced a tight-handling Ford Mustang in traffic while battling to stay in the top-10 of the running order. Following another long, green flag run that saw another long-pit strategy, Blaney brought the No. 12 to pit road from second on lap 252 for four tires and a round of adjustments to free him up on the long run. Despite cycling to 14th in the running order, Blaney took advantage of a flurry of late cautions to restart the overtime attempt from sixth before taking the checkered flag ninth for his seventh top-10 finish of the season and fourth in the last five races.

BLANEY’S THOUGHTS: “Track position was big. We got decent in the second stage. We long-pitted and I thought we made up good ground. We went from 18th to eighth and our car was pretty respectable there. but then the track went tight on us and we lost a little bit of speed and handling. We lined up there at the end and just got caught. They stacked up and destroyed the nose, so it was just one of those days.”

Blaney is currently seventh in the NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings.









RACE RUNDOWN: Joey Logano started Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway from the middle of the field with a loose-handling Ford Mustang on the opening run of the afternoon before the No. 22 team had a chance to make adjustments in the early going. Despite losing some track position on the race’s first round of pit stops following the first caution on lap 38, Logano fought to a 19th-place finish in Stage 1. After another round of adjustments during the stage break, Logano began to settle in with the balance of the car and made his way  back into the top-15 following a scheduled, green flag stop on lap 135 before crossing the line 14th at the end of Stage 2. The No. 22 team put together one of its best stops of the day during the stage break to position Logano just outside the top-10 to start the final stage before breaking into the top-10 of the running order on lap 216. After making his way up to eighth on the leaderboard, Logano started the green flag pit stop cycle on lap 244 and was scored fifth by the time the field cycled through. As the laps began to wind down, the caution flag flew on lap 217 and the No. 22 team delivered on pit road in a big way, setting Logano up to restart third on what looked to be the final restart of the afternoon. From the outside of row two, Logano charged hard into turn one but the No. 19 washed up the banking and into right front of Logano to set off a multi-car incident in turn two to bring out the caution. Despite significant nose damage from the wreck, Logano was able to salvage an 18th-place finish on the day.

LOGANO’S THOUGHTS: “We had a pretty decent day, all things considered. We started mid-pack and lost some ground during the first pit stop but, from there, we executed a perfect race. We scratched and clawed our way to start on the second row – for what we thought would be the final restart – with a chance to win. Unfortunately, that chance was taken out of our hands. That’s all there is to it.”

Logano is currently 12th in the NASCAR Cup Series driver points standings.




WHAT’S NEXT: The NASCAR Cup Series heads to the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway on Sunday, May 21 for the All-Star Race. Coverage of the event will be carried on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Team Penske PR