Ford Racing cruises through crash-filled Daytona 500 to first place
Ford racing has been on a winning rampage lately. They swept the podium in the 4600 class at King of The Hammers and dominated in the Clash at the Coliseum. They scored another major win: a first-place finish at the 2022 Daytona 500. Not only did Ford Racing take the top spot on the podium, but they also managed to take seven of the top ten finishes, including third place. If this feat is impressive, what really strikes is the age of the pilot.
Austin Cindric, in the number 2 Discount Tire car, is the second youngest rookie to win the Daytona 500. At 23, Cindric is only 3 years older than record holder Trevor Bayne. Cindric is no newcomer to the pro sport though, he started racing the Xfinity Series in 2018. He even won the 2020 Xfinity Championship. His Daytona 500 debut was in 2021 where he was leading towards the end of the race, however, a late crash saw him finish in 15th place. This year was his moment to shine, as the young driver managed to avoid the accumulations and hold the lead in overtime to take the victory.
The young driver fought his way to the front of the peloton after what could rightly be described as a “musical chairs crash”. Early in the race, Harrison Burton lost control and snagged William Byron and Ross Chastain. Another wreck canceled out Denny Hamlin’s chance in the winner’s circle. The race was red flagged with just nine laps to go when Kyle Larson and Kevin Harvick got tangled, knocking Harvick out of action. Almost immediately after the red flag, leaders Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Chris Buescher crashed. This opened up the opportunity for Cindric to claim first place. The final turned out to be a drag race straight away, as Cindric held off Bubba Wallace by just 0.036 seconds.
“I am surrounded by great people. That’s all there is to it,” said Team Penske rider Cindric. “I know there will be ups and downs, being a rookie in such a strong group of riders. I’m just grateful for the opportunity, excited to climb the mountain we have in front of us with both teams.
It looks like Ford Racing’s winning streak is continuing. 2022 is starting to look a lot more promising with well-rounded drivers pushing the Fords to the top spots.