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Davidson: Cindric wins Daytona Xfinity for Penske

Daytona Beach, FL, Feb 13/20 (by John Davidson): Austin Cindric gave team owner Roger Penske something "the Captain" had never received in all his decades of racing and race team ownership: a NASCAR Xfinity Series race win on the oval at Daytona.

Starting the race on the front row, the reigning series champion Cindric picked the outside line, giving Justin Allgaier the inner lane but gaining a fellow Ford driver behind him to assist with a push – going on to win the first Stage.

As the race went on Cindric managed to stay just ahead of several multi-car crashes, and he wound up in the lead approaching an overtime restart and held the lead to the checkered flag, beating out Brett Moffitt's Chevrolet by a tenth of a second at the line.

"What an awesome race" said Cindric in Victory Lane. "Congrats to my man Coleman [Pressley] up on the roof. He puts in just as much effort or more as I do. I'm proud of him and we'll try to go do it again tomorrow, I guess.

"I'm just excited that I get to come back here tomorrow and run in front of a great group of people. We have fans here. I'm excited for the Great American Race tomorrow."

With experience in multiple classes of racing, this was not the 22-year-old's first victory at Daytona, but his first in Xfinity on the oval, after winning the road course race last year. "The thing that's really cool about winning tonight is that I've won on the road course here. I've won on the superspeedway, and I won the rallycross race they had here, so anything with four wheels, man, Daytona I guess is a decent place. I walked out of here on Wednesday night pissed off that we didn't qualify in (to Sunday’s Daytona 500) on time and luck has been in a good spot ever since, so really proud of the effort and continue on to next week."

Cindric starts at the back of the field in the Daytona 500 after qualifying into the race on time, his first start in a NASCAR Cup Series race.

● CLICK HERE for the race results

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