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Austin Cindric Returning to Xfinity in 2021, Running Cup for Wood Brothers in 2022

Austin Cindric knows his plans for both 2021 and 2022, as Team Penske announced today (Oct. 8) he will remain in Team Penske’s NASCAR Xfinity Series No. 22 in 2021, followed by a move to the NASCAR Cup Series.

Cindric will compete full time for Wood Brothers Racing in its No. 21 Ford in 2022 as a rookie of the year competitor and will also make a few Cup starts next year, his debut in the series, barring any starts before the end of 2020.

Matt DiBenedetto will return as the driver of the No. 21 next year prior to Cindric’s promotion.

“This is a big step forward in my career long-term, and I am humbled and motivated by the opportunity and the confidence that Team Penske, Ford Performance, the Wood Brothers, and all of our partners have expressed in my abilities and my development as a driver,” Cindric said in a team release. “Every race car driver wants to advance in his career, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than on a clear path with Team Penske that will eventually lead to a full-time opportunity in the NASCAR Cup Series.

“I’m really excited about this next chapter in my development to continue working towards competing and trying to win at the highest level. Another season of experience in the Xfinity Series will be beneficial and I’m looking forward to competing in some Cup Series races in 2021 to prepare for a full season in 2022.”

“As we continue to position our team for future success, it is important to make sure Austin continues his development in the Xfinity Series with Team Penske,” Team Penske owner Roger Penske said. “Austin has made great strides in recent years and he has become a consistent winner and a true championship contender this season. He will continue his natural progression and get some Cup Series experience in 2021. That will help him prepare for a full season in 2022 with the new NextGen car, racing the No. 21 Ford Mustang for Wood Brothers Racing.”

Cindric is a winner in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

This year, Cindric has won five times in Xfinity, accrued 17 top fives and 22 top 10s, and is in the midst of the playoffs.

Overall, Cindric has won seven Xfinity races and earned 38 top fives and 59 top-10 finishes. He finished sixth in the 2018 Xfinity championship standings.

Cindric ran full time in the Truck Series in 2017 and finished third in the championship standings. He won at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for his lone Truck Series victory.

A car number for Cindric’s part-time run in the Cup Series in 2021 has not been announced.

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About Mark Kristl

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Mark joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is an Eagle Scout & a proud University of Dayton alum. He also writes about NASCAR for Beyond the Flag.

2 comments

  1. Avatar

    GOOD MOVE FOR AUSTIN WAITING TO RUN FOR ROTY WITH THE NEW 2022 MODELS BUT IT HAS TO BE WEIRD FOR MATT TO KNOW HE IS A LAME DUCK UNLESS HIS 2022 PLANS ARE ALREADY LAID OUT !! WOOD BROS. AND FORD ARE BLESSED TO HAVE BOTH OF THEM IN THEIR STABLE !!

  2. Avatar

    I wonder what happens if Matt wins multiple races next year and makes it deep into the playoffs. I wouldn’t expect that to happen but what if?