Austin Cindric Goes Full-Time With Team Penske for 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Season
After driving three different cars in 2018, the Ford development driver will have just one home in 2019; a Penske home.
Austin Cindric will drive the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019, the race team announced Thursday. The 2019 season will be Cindric’s second full year in the Xfinity Series.
Cindric split his time between Roush Fenway Racing and Team Penske in 2018, sharing the No. 60 at Roush Fenway Racing with Ty Majeski and Chase Briscoe, and well as the No. 12 and No. 22 cars at Team Penske. With two races remaining in the 2018 season, Cindric has notched five top fives and 11 top 10 finishes in 31 races. Four of his top fives came from behind the wheel of the No. 22. He still is in the playoffs for the 2018 Xfinity Series championship.
"I have had such a unique opportunity this year to learn from so many people, and to learn quite a lot in a short amount of time,” Cindric said. “To have the chance to apply that experience for a full season with Team Penske in 2019 is a huge step in my career. I am so grateful for the confidence Mr. Penske, the 22 team, Ford Performance, Team Penske and all of their partners have put in me. I can't wait to see what we'll be able to accomplish together.”
“Austin has done a solid job in his rookie season in the Xfinity Series under some tough circumstances,” team owner Roger Penske said. "He has earned the opportunity to compete full-time and fight for the championship in 2019. We are excited to continue to see him develop his stock car skills, and he should be one of the exciting young drivers to watch next season.”
Cindric will be the first driver to race full-time for Team Penske in the Xfinity Series since Sam Hornish Jr. did so in 2012 and 2013 as driver of the No. 12 Ford. Brad Keselowski drove the No. 22 Team Penske Ford to an Xfinity Series championship in 2010, the year prior to the implementation of a NASCAR rule allowing drivers to compete for a championship in only one series at a time.
Since Keselowski’s lone full-time season in the Xfinity Series for Team Penske, the No. 22 has raced full-time in the series but with a roster of multiple drivers in the car, primarily Penske’s Cup Series stars. Team Penske will continue to run the No. 12 on a part-time basis next year with its Cup Series drivers sharing driving duties.
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