NASCAR candidates for Indy 500: No. 4 – Austin Cindric
Austin Cindric has seen a promising rise in his NASCAR career. The 2020 Xfinity Series champion nearly recaptured his title the following season, only to be moved on the last lap of the Championship 4 race by eventual champion Daniel Hemric.
But with 13 wins in three full seasons in the Xfinity Series, it was not a secret that Cindric was ready for the Cup Series.
After running a part-time schedule for Team Penske in 2021, Cindric made the most out of his full-time debut in the team’s #2 Ford, winning the 2022 Daytona 500. In joining an exclusive group, he made his name known in the Cup Series quite quickly.
But the possibility of him running the Indy 500 isn’t as far-fetched as one may think. After winning the Daytona 500, Cindric told IndyStar of his desire to run the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.
"“The next time I’m at the Indy 500 on race day, it’s either going to be because I’m out of a job, or I’m entered in the race. I definitely want to do that some day at some point in my career.”"
His experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval is indeed limited, as he had two DNFs in 2018 and 2019.
But the resources for Cindric are there should he pursue a Memorial Day Double run with Team Penske, including but not limited to the fact that his father, Tim, is the president of the company.
With a natural talent, a desire to compete, and multiple connections to a seat in the open-wheel race at the Brickyard, Cindric could become a subject to pull off double duty sooner rather than later.