Current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Cindric will return to Cunningham Motorsports this weekend for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR). The 18-year-old will return to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for the first time in 2017, driving the No. 99 PIRTEK Ford Fusion this Friday night.
“When I looked at the ARCA schedule and looked at some races we might want to do if it worked with our schedule, I circled LOR (Lucas Oil Raceway) right away,” said Cindric. “I think we’re right on par with the other cars and I’d expect us to be fighting up front with the leaders and fighting to win. Last year we had really strong runs in the ARCA races we ran and hopefully we can come out this year and get the No. 99 PIRTEK Ford Fusion into victory lane.”
That success Cindric saw last season spanned over four races and included a win at Kentucky Speedway, two second-place finishes (at Pocono Raceway and Kansas Speedway) and a pole award. Being able to come and run a few races in the series has proved helpful to Cindric, who is still learning and soaking up any and all information he can get.
“I don’t have a lot of short track experience, so I knew this race would be one of the most beneficial ones to be able to run this year,” said Cindric. “It’s a fun race because there’s so many different lanes you can use. I’ve learned a ton on how to drive stock cars thanks to my time in ARCA. It’s a great environment to be able to learn and still have competitive teams and drivers run at the same time, so I’m really excited to see what we can do here on Friday.”
Even though he has raced at LOR before, it was with an open-wheel series, which is an entirely different beast than stock cars. To get reacquainted with the track, the No. 99 team tested at the track last Sunday throughout the day and into the night.
“I thought about if I was going to be able to use anything from those two races I ran in 2013 and 2014 to the race now, but I don’t think I’ll be able to so the test was extremely important,” said Cindric. “Being able to test at the same time as the race is a crew chief’s dream. Being able to go out and do long runs is really helpful and we can directly correlate what we learned during the test to the race with what we want to do to the car.”
Coming off of a busy few days at Eldora Speedway, when he finished 10th in the NCWTS race, Cindric will move right over to Indianapolis for Friday night’s race. The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 will kick off with practice from 12:15-2 p.m. followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 5. The 200-lap feature is slated for a 9 p.m. start and will air live on FS1. All times are local (Eastern).
Keep up with Cunningham Motorsports on Facebook and Instagram (@CunninghamRace) and on Twitter (@Cunningham_Race). Head to www.cunninghamrace.com for more news. You can follow Austin on social media as well. Follow Austin on Facebook (@Austin.Cindric) and on Twitter and Instagram (@AustinCindric).
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