Friday Afternoon’s only NASCAR Xfinity Series practice session at Circuit of The Americas provided an interesting mix of expected and unexpected drivers near the top of the timesheet, but the driver that led the session, Austin Cindric, was one of the drivers that everyone was watching this weekend in Austin, Texas – ironic isn’t it.
On his sixth lap around the 3.41-mile road course, Cindric put up a lap of 137.778 seconds (2:17.778) in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang, which funny enough, wasn’t the fastest lap of the weekend thus far – that was set by Sheldon Creed in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice.
Daniel Hemric (137.845), Tyler Reddick (137.963), Kyle Busch (137.989) and AJ Allmendinger (138.610) rounded out the top-five cars in the series’ only 50-minute practice session. Noah Gragson, Alex Labbe, Justin Allgaier, Jeb Burton and Myatt Snider rounded out the top-10.
41 of the 43 cars entered in the event put down a time in the session, with Ryan Sieg’s No. 39 and Bayley Currey’s No. 74 each suffering some engine issues in the session. Brandon Brown’s No. 68 stalled in the final seconds of practice, shortening the session by about three minutes, while Kris Wright’s No. 26 started to blow up on-track, which drew another yellow flag.
Spencer Pumpelly – the only driver scheduled to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut this weekend — clocked-in 13th-place in the session, holding an advantage of nearly four seconds on his other three JD Motorsports teammates, who ranked 34th, 36th and 39th in the session. One of Pumpelly’s teammates, Landon Cassill, went for a quick spin during the session, but recieved no damage.
Whoops. Landon Cassill goes for a slide during practice. pic.twitter.com/rOA9wFfV1L
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 21, 2021
Alongside Pumpelly, six other drivers must time their way into the event in tomorrow’s qualifying session. Reddick – third — led the charge, with Pumpelly 13th, Pardus 20th, Said 22nd, Dillon 28th, Gaulding 31st and Little 32nd.
2020 Xfinity Champ, Austin Cindric led the double-dippers in Friday’s session, with Kyle Busch in fourth, AJ Allmendinger fifth, Cole Custer 15th, Kevin Harvick 17th and Austin Dillon 28th.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will see their first qualifying session of the season tomorrow at 11am | EST on FOX Sports 1 – weather permitting. With 43 cars entered, seven will fail to qualify for the event, making this session one of the most intense in recent memory.