Austin Cindric is the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion after snagging the lead and capping off the victory in a hard-fought green-white-checkered finish.
Cindric had the race all sewed up as he had roughly a 1.5-second lead with three laps to go. But then, fellow championship contender Chase Briscoe spun to bring out the caution, which sent the race into overtime.
Justin Allgaier, stayed on the track in an effort to snag the championship with strategy. Unfortunately for Allgaier, only Ross Chastain joined him in not pitting.
Cindric’s decision to pit came after seeing Sheldon Creed use a similar strategy in Friday night’s NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race.
“I watched Sheldon Creed do it last night, so why couldn’t we?” Cindric explained. “Amazing, amazing effort by this No. 22 team. [Crew Chief] Brian Wilson and all the guys. All of the guys back at the shop. There was a lot of work put into this racecar.”
Cindric would restart third and after battling for a lap with Allgaier and his JR Motorsports teammate, Cindric would take the lead and the win and the championship. This marked Cindric’s sixth win of the 2020 season.
Cindric led 72 laps on the day, second only to Allgaier, who led 77.
Gragson would finish in second, Brandon Jones was third, Michael Annett came home fourth and Allgaier slipped to fifth. However, the fifth-place finish was good enough to earn Allgaier the runner-up spot in the championship.
Despite missing out on the title again, Allgaier was happy to have a shot at the win late and congratulated his competitor.
“So close, but so far away,” Allgaier said. “But first of all, hats off to Austin and the entire Team Penske group. They’ve been strong competitors all year and to have the race they did tonight, they obviously were the best car and deserved to win. Proud of our guys, proud of everybody at JR Motorsports, we had a shot of it at the end and when it’s all said and done, that’s all really you can ask for.”
Harrison Burton, Ross Chastain, Justin Haley, Chase Briscoe and Jeremy Clements rounded out the top-10 finishers in the race.
Haley, by virtue of his eighth place finish, ended the year third in points, while Briscoe, who dominated 2020 with nine wins, finished fourth in the standings.
Post-Race Stat Pack:
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