Defending NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric will attempt to make his Cup Series debut in the Daytona 500, Team Penske announced Wednesday (Jan. 20) morning.
Cindric, 22, will pilot the No. 33 Ford for Team Penske at Daytona International Speedway with crew chief Miles Stanley atop the pit box.
“There is a lot to be excited about heading into Daytona,” Cindric in a team statement. “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.”
The No. 33 entry does not have a charter, so Cindric will have to qualify his way into the field either on speed or in his respective Thursday (Feb. 11) duel race.
“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.”
Excited for this program 😁 First stop for the @Team_Penske #33
— Austin Cindric (@AustinCindric) January 20, 2021
Cindric will continue to drive the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske in the Xfinity Series on a full-time basis this season while additionally making limited Cup Series starts in the No. 33 car. After winning six races and earning 19 top-five finishes en route to the 2020 Xfinity title, Cindric is already slated to take over the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing in 2022 for his first full Cup Series season.
Atop the pit box, Stanley is typically the race engineer for Ryan Blaney and the No. 12 team, a role in which he will remain when the No. 33 car is not entered.
While the team plans to compete in other events this season, no other races have been announced at this time.