Rookie Austin Cindric Wins 2022 Daytona 500

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#2: Austin Cindric, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Discount Tire

Rookie Austin Cindric wins 2022 Daytona 500 in thrilling fashion over teammate Ryan Blaney.

The rookie entered 2022 as the newest member of the Penske stable, taking over for Brad Keselowski in the #2 car. Cindric was the 2020 Xfinity Champion and was promoted to the Cup Series after a very successful 2021 campaign that saw him finish 2nd in the championship. This is the first Cup Series victory for Cindric and team-owner Roger Penske’s 3rd overall Daytona 500 victory, putting Cindric squarely in the hunt for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. All eye’s are on Cindric to continue the winning tradition of the #2 car, I have a feeling this will not be the last time we see him visit victory lane.

Ford’s Dominance Continues

Cindric’s victory capped off a record week for the Blue-Oval with their domination of speed weeks. Coming off their excellent results in the Duels and Practice sessions, Ford led the most laps of any manufacturer during the race, leaving¬† Toyota and Chevrolet wondering ‘what happened?’. Seven of the top 10 finishers were Ford backed drivers with 23XI driver Bubba Wallace finishing “best of the rest” in his #23 Toyota, slipping by the #14 of Chase Briscoe and #12 of Ryan Blaney for 2nd place. Aric Amirola – in his final 500 – Kyle Busch, Michael McDowell, David Ragan, Brad Keselowski, and Chase Elliot, the 2020 Series Champion, rounded out the top-10.

Stage 1 and 2 winner, Martin Truex in his #19 Bass Pro Shop Toyota Camry finished 13th after being involved in a incident on Lap 151, when Richard Childress driver Tyler Reddick lost control of his #8 machine, collecting Truex, Kurt Busch, and Joey Logano in the process.

No Big One

2022’s edition of the Daytona 500 was not without crashes, not this year “The Big One” as NASCAR fans call it, was seemingly absent. However, multiple multi-car wrecks took out many contenders. Lap 65 saw the first major wreck of the day, with the #21 of Harrison Burton spinning off the nose of Brad Keselowski and collecting the #24 of William Bryon into the inside wall. Burton’s car flipped and landed on its roof, collecting the Toyota’s of Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Busch – the latter would return to finish 6th – and the Chevrolets of Alex Bowman and Ross Chastain. In a stoke of good fortune, the #21 came to rest back on all four wheels, a positive sign for the aero-effects of the Next-Gen chassis, but a sobering reminder of how quickly these cars can and will go airborne.

Multiple car accidents on laps 150, 190, and 196 left much of the field in tatters as cars were still wrecking as the checkered flag fell. All in, over 25 different drivers were involved over 7 cautions and a single red-flag period in the 3 hour and 32 minute event, ending under the lights in the Florida evening.

The series regroups next weekend on February 26/27 in California, at Auto Club Speedway in one of the final events at the track in its current 2-mile oval form before being converted into a 1/2 mile short-track oval.

**Unofficial Results –¬†2022 Daytona 500**