Austin Cindric tops Xfinity practice at Indy Road Course
Reigning Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric led the way on Friday in the series’ only practice session on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
Cindric, who already has five wins on road courses in his NASCAR career, topped the practice 50-minute session with a best single-lap speed of 95.154 mph.
It’s the second consecutive season the Xfinity Series has competed on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. Chase Briscoe won last year’s inaugural race while Cindric led half the 42 laps but ended up fifth.
“I got a fast Ford Mustang,” Cindric said. “As much as I’d like to tell you that practice matters, it certainly doesn’t – we haven’t had it all year. But a solid day so far for us.
“I think we have a lot of good data points on this (new) tire from COTA, Road America, Mid-Ohio. I think we’ve had to do a bit of homework on this time – it’s thrown us a bit of a loop.
“I’d like to think we’re reeling back in on it but we probably won’t know until (Saturday).”
Sam Mayer, fresh off a solid 10th-place finish last weekend at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in just his fifth series start, ended up second-fastest in the session (94.965 mph).
“For a road course, that was pretty close,” said Mayer, 18. “This is the best car I’ve had so far this year and obviously, we have a lot of speed.
JR Motorsports put a really good piece together and I just need to go out there and finish the deal. We need to go out there and qualify up front, hopefully lead a couple laps and lead the last one.
“Hopefully we can keep this momentum up. We need this change in luck for sure.”
Justin Haley ended up third-fastest, Kevin Harvick was fourth and A.J. Allmendinger rounded out the top-five.
Completing the top-10 were Riley Herbst, Noah Gragson, Jeb Burton, last weekend’s race winner Ty Gibbs and Alex Labbe.
There were no serious incidents in the practice. Michael Annett went off course in Turn 7 on his second lap. He made it back to the garage but never returned to the track.
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