LEXINGTON, Ohio (AP) — Austin Cindric raced to his second straight NASCAR Xfinity Series victory Saturday, holding off Christopher Bell at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The 20-year-old Cindric won last week on the road course at Watkins Glen.
Driving the Team Penske No. 22 Ford, Cindric finished 3.780 seconds ahead of Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. A.J. Allmendinger, driving a Chevy for the northeast-Ohio based Kaulig Racing was third, 10.290 seconds behind.
Points leader Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing was fourth. His lead is 28 points over Bell.
Cindric, the pole-sitter for a second straight year, took the lead from Chase Briscoe on Lap 63 in the second turn, or keyhole, with an outside move. Cindric led 47 of the 75 laps on the 13-turn, 2.258 mile course.
He is the son of Team Penske President Tim Cindric and the grandson of the former track owner, the late Jim Trueman, who was the car owner when Bobby Rahal won the 1986 Indianapolis 500.
A native of Columbus, about 60 miles to the south, Cindric led 59 laps last year but was passed by Justin Allgaier with three laps to go and finished second.
Briscoe in the Biagi-DenBeste Racing Ford won the first 20-mile stage when Cindric made his first stop on Lap 18. Cindric stalled coming out of the pit and was 14th through the stage but after everyone pitted, he was second to Bell by Lap 22.
James Hawksworth won the incident-filled second 20-mile stage.
The second caution of the race was on the 29th lap when Brandon Brown spun into the sand. On the restart, Chris Dyson ran into the back of Cole Custer, forcing another yellow as Dyson leaked some fuel on the track.
The restart of the restart on Lap 37 resulted in another caution before Turn 3 when Allgaier lost his grip and spin, creating a chain reaction for several cars around him. While that was happening, Hawksworth made a pass on Bell just before the caution and moved into first and claimed the stage under caution.