Austin Cindric, the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, will attempt to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the season-opening Daytona 500. Cindric will drive a fourth Team Penske Ford Mustang, which will utilize the No. 33. The team officially announced the news with a press release on Wednesday.
“There is a lot to be excited about heading into Daytona,” said Cindric in the release. “It doesn’t really even need to be said that the Daytona 500 is the biggest crown jewel race in NASCAR and one of the biggest races in the world – so to have a shot to be in the show while driving for Roger Penske is a big opportunity. Qualifying our way into the race as an ‘open’ car will be a big challenge. I look forward to working with Miles and all of the guys on the No. 33 team, while also continuing my focus on winning back-to-back Xfinity Series Championships.”
According to the release, Miles Stanley, who has served as an engineer for the team, will be atop the pit box as crew chief for Cindric as they attempt to lock into the field for the 63rd-annual Great American Race.
“Ever since I joined Team Penske in 2013, I’ve been able to grow as an engineer and learn from some of the best in the business,” said Stanley. “Now I get the chance to become a Cup Series crew chief with one of the formidable organizations in the sport, which is an amazing opportunity. To get to do it with Austin at Daytona International Speedway is a perfect recipe for success. I look forward to working with him and hitting the ground running with the No. 33 Ford team in Daytona and the other Cup Series races that Austin runs in 2021.”
Stanley will slip back into his role of engineer for the No. 12 team for the remaining 2021 NASCAR Cup Series events, and additional races for Cindric in the No. 33 will be announced at a later date.
Cindric scored six-wins en route to his first NASCAR National Series championship in 2020 and he will compete for another NASCAR Xfinity Series title in 2021. Cindric is set to take over the reigns of the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford Mustang for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.