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DAVISON: Pocono Xfinity – Cindric comes through in the end

Long Pond, PA, June 27/21 (by John Davison): Although far from dominant for most of the race, Austin Cindric held off challenges from Ty Gibbs to lead the most laps, including the most important final lap, in winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pocono Green 225, part of the double-header weekend.

In front of what might have been the biggest crowd ever seen at the "Tricky Triangle" track, Cindric led 26 of the 90 laps – in front for the race’s final 16 laps – with pole starter Harrison Burton next at 21 laps in the lead.

Just after the start of the second Stage, Justin Haley got tapped by Sam Mayer and spun across the track, rebounding from the inside wall with the car getting hit hard by Ryan Vargas. Haley stopped the car and got out on his own before lying down next to the car. He then stood and walked to the ambulance for his ride to the care center to be checked out. Haley had been scheduled to compete in the Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 Cup series race but the team put Justin Allgaier in the car instead after Haley’s hard crash.

A total of six cautions slowed the race, including a short red flag for the Haley crash and eight drivers swapped the lead over the 90 lap race.

Justin Allgaier finished third ahead of Noah Gragson and A.J. Allmendinger.

"You have to be good at everything and that is what this team has proven throughout the year," Cindric said. "I am just the one that gets to drive these Ford Mustangs. I am excited about it. I had to execute in every facet and we had everything thrown at us today. I am super proud of this Mustang team. Everybody who partners up with us. To finally get one here. Ever since I have been racing ARCA it feels like this one always gets away, so I am really excited.

"We gave him [Ty Gibbs] a chance, didn't we? We had to make it exciting I guess. I didn't want it but I guess everybody else did. We will take it and we will take the trophy for sure."

Gibbs commented that he had been: "Just pushing as much as I can. It feels good to leave everything in the race car. Just trying my hardest. I made some mistakes. I think I could have maybe crossed him over a little bit better. Lap cars helped me. They were kind of in the way. Overall, just a good day. I'm happy to drive a Xfinity car. I'm thankful to be in this series. Thank you to all of my crew, Chris Gayle (crew chief), everybody who works on my Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54."

The next Xfinity race will be held next Saturday, July 3rd at the Road America road course.

• Click here for the Race Results

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