Race cars don’t know who’s behind the wheel; they react to input. Whether it’s a woman, a man, someone rich, someone not so rich slinging the wheel, it’s the right input from a smart racer that makes the difference in who’s first to those checkered flags. And luck, of course.
Some are lucky to be born into racing families, but every racer has got to show they’ve got worth before the rest of the world shares the joy a family member might feel when their own progeny are successful. Some do it well; others don’t.
Austin Cindric has both the joy and the curse of being born into a racing family. His maternal grandfather, the late Jim Trueman, was the owner of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course; his father is Tim Cindric, a former IndyCar crew chief who moved from Ohioan Bobby Rahal’s team to Team Penske in the early days of the current century and is currently Team Penske’s president. Tim Cindric’s dad, Carl, is known for his expertise as an engine builder with Speedway Engines. Austin comes by his motorized bloodlines naturally.
Last weekend Cindric won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen International. At 20 years of age, he’s at the dawn of his driving career, but Austin Cindric has already gathered plenty of experience, both behind the wheel and in the pits. He’s a savvy racer, one who has watched the best of the best from both the pit stand and from the driver’s seat. He’s been tutored at Skip Barber Racing School, gaining road course experience, raced in the USF2000 championship and has also worked in vintage racing.
Young Cindric’s career has been all over the place, including the former Red Bull Global RallyCross Lites series, IMSA’s Continental Tire sports car championship, Pirelli World Challenge, ARCA and NASCAR’s truck series. He’s raced in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and helped in the garages when his Lexus entry was suffering teething pains. He understands you have to work hard in this business.
This weekend Cindric returns to his family’s ancestral home at Mid-Ohio in Lexington, Ohio. The Xfinity Series is on the docket for this road course weekend of competition and Cindric is hoping he can use the momentum of last weekend’s victory to bring him added success at the family racetrack. Last year, his first in Xfinity competition, Cindric held pole position yet finished second. He’d like a step up on that result.
Born in nearby Columbus, Ohio, Austin Cindric holds fifth-place points with his No. 22 MoneyLion Ford Mustang entry from, you guessed it, Team Penske. He’s relishing a return to what he considers his home track and a better result than last year’s. “We will seek redemption,” the young gun said. Will he get it?