NASCAR: Austin Cindric shoots down bizarre rumor

Austin Cindric was quite entertained by a rumor that he was no longer a NASCAR driver simply because there was none of his merchandise on Team Penske’s website.

Team Penske ran out of shirts for star NASCAR Xfinity Series Austin Cindric on their merchandise website, creating a panic among fans that Cindric had lost his ride with the team for one reason or another.

We are in the middle of Silly Season as it is, and there are already tons of rumors out there surrounding several drivers and teams.

Amid Cindric no longer having any merchandise on this website, NASCAR Twitter and Reddit did their thing and turned Cindric, whose father Tim is the president of Team Penske, into a driver who was fired — for some reason.

But to put this in perspective, Kyle Larson, who actually was fired from his Cup Series ride back in April, still has merchandise for sale on NASCAR’s website.

Generally speaking, Xfinity Series drivers don’t have a ton of merchandise for sale anyway, and given Cindric’s recent surge, it stands to reason that there is none left. Right now, a #22 MoneyLion Team Penske Ford diecast is the only item in the team’s Cindric shop. Cindric isn’t even listed on NASCAR’s website, and neither is Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe, his chief championship rival.

Briscoe even commented on the Reddit post about a potential incoming announcement and joked that he had “pressed charges on him for assault with a water bottle after Daytona”.

This comment was made in reference to Cindric throwing a water bottle out the window of his #22 Ford at Briscoe’s #98 Ford during the race at the Daytona International Speedway road course a few weeks ago.

Briscoe added that “in all seriousness he’s fine haha”, in reference to the firing rumors.

Cindric took to Twitter to address these rumors, laugh at these rumors, and shoot them down — and he also noted that he was quite entertained by what he heard. He even said that such entertainment is one of the reasons why he loves the sport’s fanbase.

To illustrate that, he offered a Texas Motor Speedway victory lane to the fan who could come up with the best fake theory about the shirt shortage.

Briscoe again joked about the rumors.

Or maybe he just wants to win the hat.

Team Penske, which retweeted Cindric’s video, also sent out their own tweet on the matter, confirming his post.

Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass also confirmed that he had discussed the matter with Team Penske and that nothing has changed in regard to Cindric’s status.

The 22-year-old Columbus, Ohio native is on the entry list for this Saturday’s race at Darlington Raceway.

In other news, Kyle Busch Motorsports still aren’t joining the Cup Series with Kurt Busch as their driver.

Through the first 22 races of the 2020 season, Cindric leads the championship standings by 58 points over Briscoe with five victories, which came in a six-race span that he entered with just two career wins in 80 starts.

The driver of the #22 Ford has recorded a series-high 15 top five finishes and 18 top 10 finishes, and he has led a series-high 706 laps.

Next: Top 10 NASCAR drivers of all-time

Saturday’s race, the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200, is set to be broadcast live from Darlington Raceway on NBC Sports Network beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.