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Austin Cindric collected his third consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series win Saturday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway after Kyle Busch’s No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota failed post-race inspection – the left rear on his car ruled too low.
The Team Penske driver Cindric, who swept a doubleheader weekend at Kentucky Speedway last week, originally finished less than a second behind Busch, but the finishing order was corrected to show Cindric the winner and Xfinity Series championship leader Chase Briscoe the race runner-up.
Justin Allgaier, who led a race-best 98 of the 201 laps, rallied back through the field for a third-place finish after being penalized for a pit-road exit violation with 30 laps remaining. The blend line penalty forced him to rally from two laps down making his third-place effort that much more impressive.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Harrison Burton, a two-time winner in 2020, finished fourth and Michael Annett was fifth. Jeb Burton, Brandon Jones, Kaulig Racing teammates Justin Haley and Ross Chastain and Brandon Brown rounded out the top 10. It marks the ninth consecutive top-10 finish for Chastain and is Brown’s fourth top 10 of the season.
Cindric was dressed in a Texas winner’s tradition white cowboy hat when he showed up for a second media video-conference availability Saturday after being officially declared the race winner. He conceded the Busch disqualification wasn’t how he liked to win races but victories are hard to come by at this level.
“Obviously great to get the Money Lion Ford Mustang in Victory Lane no matter how it happens,” Cindric said. “Great points day.”
Cindric – only the ninth driver in NASCAR Xfinity Series history to win three straight races – said he was tipped off to the possibility of a change in finishing order after walking out of his team transporter and seeing Busch’s car and team still undergoing inspection in the garage.
“You want to win it on track and I feel like we had a shot to do that today and maybe didn’t execute as well as we should have and that’s what kept us out, but fast race cars and being in position, that’s what counts,” Cindric said.
And, the ace road course racer laughed acknowledging that he now has more NASCAR Xfinity Series oval wins (three) than road course triumphs (two).
“I’ll take it,” he said. “It’s great to be able to capitalize on fast race cars. I said that last week and I’ll say that again. I didn’t think this weekend we were quite as good as what we had in Kentucky but overall being able to run up front all day and get great stage points was great and we’ve just got to keep building on that.”
Allgaier, the driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet swept the opening two stages – the sixth time he’s done that in his career. But he’s only turned that early race dominance into a victory one previous time. And it was not to be on Saturday afternoon because of the late-race penalty. It’s the second time this season he has led the most laps but not earned the trophy. He led 156 laps at Bristol, Tenn., in June but finished 18th.
Noah Gragson, a two-time winner this year, finished 30th after his No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet was involved in a pair of incidents. His Lap 5 contact with Riley Herbst brought out the day’s first caution flag, then Gragson exited 75 laps short of the finish after a close call with Cindric and a crunching of the Turn 2 retaining wall.
The series races next in the Kansas Lottery 250 at Kansas Speedway next Saturday (5 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Contributing: Staff reports