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Race report
NASCAR Cup Gateway

Gateway NASCAR Cup: Cindric earns shock win as Blaney runs out of fuel

Austin Cindric picked up a surprise NASCAR Cup victory on Sunday at World Wide Technology Raceway when his Penske teammate Ryan Blaney ran out of fuel in the final laps.

Blaney, the reigning series champion, looked primed to pick up his first win of the 2024 season after surviving a wild duel with Christopher Bell.

Cindric had cut Blaney’s lead to under two seconds with three of 240 laps remaining, but Blaney’s No. 12 Penske Ford suddenly fell off the pace.

Cindric inherited the lead and held off Denny Hamlin by 3.844 seconds to pick up his second career win and ended an 85-race winless streak.

Watch: Austin Cindric on getting back to Victory Lane: ‘It’s everything’

Cindric, who was in danger of missing the playoffs, locked himself in the 16-driver field with the victory.

"Honestly, I'm heartbroken for (Blaney's) team. I don't know what happened to them at the end of the race. They deserved to win this race. Ryan has been a hell of a leader on this team," Cindric said. "This weekend was a great weekend for everybody involved. But, yeah, to have two (Penske) cars in the fight, eventually 1-2. Heartbroken for those guys. 
"This is huge for me. This is huge for this team. I'm so glad I was able to get a win with Brian (Wilson) as my crew chief in the Cup Series. You never know when it's going to happen again. Just drove by butt off, hope for the best."
Asked what the win does to turn around a tough season, Cindric said, "It's everything. It's absolutely everything. Great to win in front of this amazing crowd. Glad to bring it home for these guys, they deserve it."

Brad Keselowski ended up third, Tyler Reddick was fourth and Joey Logano rounded out the top five.

Completing the top 10 were Austin Dillon, Bell – who limped home with an engine issue, Carson Hocevar, Justin Haley and Kyle Larson.

Blaney did finally cross the finish line and ended up credited with a 24th place finish and last car on the lead lap.

Read Also:

Stage 1

Bell ran down Michael McDowell and passed him for the lead with five laps to go and held on to take the Stage 1 win by 0.726 seconds. Blaney was third, Cindric fourth and Hamlin fifth.

During the caution for an incident involving Cody Ware and Derek Kraus, Keselowski had to pit twice due to a loose wheel on his No. 6 Ford and fell to the rear of the field.

Stage 2

Bell claimed the Stage 2 win under caution when Larson and Kyle Busch wrecked racing for position on the final lap.

 

The damage to his No. 8 Chevrolet brought an early end to Busch’s race. Cindric ended up second in the stage, Blaney third, Chase Elliott fourth and Logano rounded out the top five.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, several of the lead lap cars elected to pit but Cindric was among those who stayed out and inherited the lead. Elliott was first off pit road among those who stopped.

Ty Gibbs was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart the race from the rear of the field. Cindric led Blaney and Logano when the race resumed with 92 laps remaining.

With 66 laps to go, Hocevar was the first to hit pit road under green to make his final stop of the day for new tires and fuel to make it to the finish. Blaney followed him down one lap later.

Bell, among those who stopped before the start of the final stage, remained out much longer and made his final stop with 46 laps remaining.

Once the final drivers completed their stops, Blaney took over the lead with 23 laps to go. Bell, however, was close behind in second but on fresher tires having made his stop much later.

With 20 laps to go, Bell and Blaney got side-by-side swapping the lead. Blaney finally gained a sizeable advantage when Bell suddenly announced he was “blowing up” over his team radio.

 

The engine issue slowed Bell considerably and he turned the second spot over to Blaney’s teammate, Cindric.

With 10 laps remaining, Blaney maintained about a two-second lead over Cindric as Hamlin moved into third.

CLA DRIVER # MANUFACTURER LAPS TIME INTERVAL PITS POINTS
1 A. CindricTEAM PENSKE 2 Ford 240

2:48'03.507

  5 56
2 D. HamlinJOE GIBBS RACING 11 Toyota 240

+3.844

2:48'07.351

3.844 7 42
3 B. KeselowskiRFK RACING 6 Ford 240

+4.286

2:48'07.793

0.442 9 40
4 T. Reddick23XI RACING 45 Toyota 240

+6.418

2:48'09.925

2.132 7 36
5 J. LoganoTEAM PENSKE 22 Ford 240

+10.332

2:48'13.839

3.914 6 39
6 A. DillonRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 3 Chevrolet 240

+11.021

2:48'14.528

0.689 7 33
7 C. BellJOE GIBBS RACING 20 Toyota 240

+13.034

2:48'16.541

2.013 7 50
8
C. HocevarSPIRE MOTORSPORTS
77 Chevrolet 240

+13.392

2:48'16.899

0.358 7 32
9 J. HaleyRICK WARE RACING 51 Ford 240

+13.668

2:48'17.175

0.276 8 28
10 K. LarsonHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 5 Chevrolet 240

+13.746

2:48'17.253

0.078 7 27
11
T. GibbsJOE GIBBS RACING
54 Toyota 240

+13.816

2:48'17.323

0.070 7 30
12 R. ChastainTRACKHOUSE RACING 1 Chevrolet 240

+14.054

2:48'17.561

0.238 7 25
13 C. ElliottHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 9 Chevrolet 240

+15.488

2:48'18.995

1.434 7 32
14 C. BuescherRFK RACING 17 Ford 240

+16.857

2:48'20.364

1.369 8 23
15 W. ByronHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 24 Chevrolet 240

+17.167

2:48'20.674

0.310 7 27
16 T. GillilandFRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS 38 Ford 240

+24.943

2:48'28.450

7.776 7 21
17 C. BriscoeSTEWART-HAAS RACING 14 Ford 240

+25.168

2:48'28.675

0.225 7 24
18 D. HemricKAULIG RACING 31 Chevrolet 240

+26.631

2:48'30.138

1.463 8 19
19
Z. SmithSPIRE MOTORSPORTS
71 Chevrolet 240

+30.557

2:48'34.064

3.926 7 18
20 R. Stenhouse JrJTG DAUGHERTY RACING 47 Chevrolet 240

+31.538

2:48'35.045

0.981 8 17
21 B. Wallace23XI RACING 23 Toyota 240

+31.972

2:48'35.479

0.434 7 16
22 N. GragsonSTEWART-HAAS RACING 10 Ford 240

+33.033

2:48'36.540

1.061 7 15
23 D. SuarezTRACKHOUSE RACING 99 Chevrolet 240

+34.528

2:48'38.035

1.495 8 14
24 R. BlaneyTEAM PENSKE 12 Ford 240

+41.713

2:48'45.220

7.185 8 29
25 M. McDowellFRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS 34 Ford 239

+1 Lap

2:48'05.357

1 Lap 9 21
26 E. JonesLEGACY MOTOR CLUB 43 Toyota 239

+1 Lap

2:48'05.693

0.336 7 11
27 J. NemechekLEGACY MOTOR CLUB 42 Toyota 239

+1 Lap

2:48'05.862

0.169 8 10
28 A. BowmanHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 48 Chevrolet 239

+1 Lap

2:48'09.948

4.086 7 9
29 R. PreeceSTEWART-HAAS RACING 41 Ford 239

+1 Lap

2:48'11.004

1.056 7 8
30 D. KrausKAULIG RACING 16 Chevrolet 239

+1 Lap

2:48'11.484

0.480 9 7
31 H. BurtonWOOD BROTHERS RACING 21 Ford 239

+1 Lap

2:48'13.136

1.652 7 6
32 C. LajoieSPIRE MOTORSPORTS 7 Chevrolet 239

+1 Lap

2:48'15.055

1.919 7 5
33 C. WareRICK WARE RACING 15 Ford 238

+2 Laps

2:48'16.156

1 Lap 10 4
34 M. Truex JrJOE GIBBS RACING 19 Toyota 237

+3 Laps

2:48'10.096

1 Lap 9 3
35 K. BuschRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 8 Chevrolet 139

+101 Laps

1:42'21.119

98 Laps 6 2
36 J. BerrySTEWART-HAAS RACING 4 Ford 109

+131 Laps

1:19'22.086

30 Laps 6 1

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