After trying to save fuel during the final caution period, Austin Cindric scores his first career oval win in the Crosley Brands 150 at Kentucky Speedway. He is the eighth different first time winner in ARCA Racing Series in 2016.
“I think coming here to test on Tuesday was really great. I was a bit worried heading into the race about how we were and how the whole field was really going to be able to race together, especially based on the Xfinity race in July. I think we produced a great show. I was able to use about half the high lane and able to cut under people. The car was working really well giving credit to Brian and the guys, giving us great pit stops and track position giving us the lead. I tried not to get back,” said Cindric in a post-race media availability.
The first half of the race started out with a caution for a spin by Bret Holmes. The drivers were waiting for the Goodyear rubber laid down by the NASCAR Xfinity Series to burn off during the opening laps. Chase Briscoe, who did not have a chance to take long runs in practice, fell back to third before the second caution came out for a hard hit by Sarah Cornett-Ching. After a long pit-stop by Shane Lee, Matt Tifft took the lead. Cindric took the lead a couple laps before the caution flew again for a chuck of debris seen after he hit the debris. As the laps winded down in the first half of there race, John Wes Townley took the lead as Cindric and Briscoe were battling for position. As the halfway point was reached, Cindric grabbed the lead at the line moving Townley to second, Tifft was third, Briscoe was fourth, and Lee rounded out the top-five.
As the second half of the race began, Tifft and Cindric continued to battle for the lead. As the second half moved along, the battle for the lead had settled. The caution flew for a spin by Mark Thompson. As the race began to wind down, strategy began to come into play. Tires were not falling off. Townley and Briscoe wreck on the final restart. The second caution was brought out by Kyle Weatherman who made contact with Lee. As the race was going into green-white-checkered finish, the leaders were trying to save fuel. Sergeant finished second, Tifft finished third, Tom Hessert finished fourth, and Matt Kurzejewski rounded out the top-five.
The points leader, Briscoe, had the chance to clinch the championship tonight by finishing seventh or better tonight. However, those hopes came to a crashing halt after an accident with Townley on the backstretch. In order to win the championship, Briscoe will have to just make one lap. He finished 22nd tonight.
The margin of victory was 0.528 seconds. The caution flew six times for 41 laps. The time of race was 1 hour, 27 minutes, and 55 seconds. The average speed was 104.466 mph. Cindric led three times for a total of 64 laps, Lee led once at 25 laps, Tifft led one at seven laps, and Townley led once for six laps.
The ARCA Racing Series will conclude the 2016 season at Kansas Speedway on October 14th. The race will be on Fox Sports 1 at 8:30PM EST.