Mooresville native Austin Cindric wins second race of NASCAR Cup Series career

Austin Cindric is a NASCAR winner again.

Cindric, the 25-year-old driver who grew up in Mooresville, started on the front row and put together an impressive run in Sunday’s Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, just outside of St. Louis. Ryan Blaney, his Team Penske teammate and reigning series champion, ran out of fuel as he took the white flag.

The win in the Enjoy Illinois 300 is the second of Cindric’s career — and first since the 2022 Daytona 500. Cindric almost assuredly secures a spot in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

“Honestly, I’m heartbroken for the 12 team. I don’t know what happened to them at the end, but they deserved to win this race,” Cindric said of Blaney, who appeared to be closing in on victory for the final 20 laps. “This weekend was a great weekend for everybody involved, to have two cars in the fight, an eventual 1-2 there. Heartbroken for those guys.

“But this is huge for me. This is huge for this team. I’m so glad I was able to get a win with Brian as my crew chief in the Cup Series. You never know when it’s gonna happen again.”

Denny Hamlin finished second, Brad Keselowski third, Tyler Reddick fourth and Joey Logano fifth.

Christopher Bell had the fastest car Sunday, sweeping the stages and battling Blaney for the lead late. Bell had an engine issue with roughly 20 laps left, ending his shot at victory.

Noteworthy

Corey Heim, a top Cup Series prospect, took the checkered flag in Saturday’s Truck Series race. That was the only other race at Gateway this weekend, as the Xfinity and ARCA Menards Series raced in Portland, Oregon.

Shane Van Gisbergen won the first Xfinity race of his NASCAR career on Saturday afternoon, overtaking Justin Allgaier in the final laps at Portland. William Sawalich, a 17-year-old who will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in Xfinity later this season, earned his first career victory on a road course.