Austin Cindric led a race-high 26 laps and he bested Ty Gibbs by just over 3-tenths of a second to score his fourth win of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season in Sunday’s Pocono Green 225 at Pocono Raceway.
As it looked like Cindric had things all sewed up, Gibbs began to close in the closing laps. Cindric chalks that up to running in the Xfinity Series being a challenge.
“I didn’t know what happened to the 66 there. I went from a three second lead to a half a second lead,” Cindric said after climbing from his No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang. “This thing is never easy. I had to avoid two wrecks today.”
Cindric has now amassed 27 Playoff points through 16 races, and looks well on his way to potentially defending his 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.
For Gibbs, 18, this is his fourth top-two finish in just eight-career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts. After another good run, he’s still learning and is very thankful for his opportunity to be running in the Xfinity Series.
“I’m very thankful to be here,” Gibbs said. “Congrats to Austin Cindric and the whole Penske Group over there, but I can’t thank everyone enough. This is a blast and a dream come true running the Xfinity Series.”
Justin Allgaier finished in third behind Cindric and Gibbs. Noah Gragson came home fourth and AJ Allmendinger was fifth.
Daniel Hemric, who was leading with less than 20 laps to go, had a speeding penalty on his final pit stop. Hemric would rebound to finish sixth, but it was another potential win that slipped through his fingers.
Brandon Jones, Jeb Burton, Josh Berry and Myatt Snider rounded out the top-10 finishers.
On lap 23, a hard crash broke out when Justin Haley was tagged by Sam Mayer, who was making his NXS debut. The contact sent Haley careening into the inside wall and back across the track. Ryan Vargas had nowhere to go and clocked Haley’s car.
Luckily, Haley and Vargas both walked away without injury.
While Haley was okay after the violent crash, Justin Allgaier will replace Haley in the Spire Motorsports No. 77 car in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race.
Justin Allgaier spoke to Spire executive after Xfinity race. He will drive the No. 77 Cup car today. Out of abundance of caution, Haley will not race after wreck today. pic.twitter.com/wb4Fa08GSp
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 27, 2021