Austin Cindric took up where he left off in 2020. The reigning NASCAR Xfinity Series champion held off Brett Moffitt and Harrison Burton in a two-lap NASCAR Overtime dash to win Saturday’s action-filled Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway, the season-opener.
Cindric, who locked up the Xfinity title by winning in his last outing at Phoenix Raceway in November, picked up his first victory on the 2.5-mile Daytona oval and the ninth of his career in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford.
“What an awesome race,” said Cindric. “What a really fast Verizon 5G Ford Mustang. Unbelievable effort by everyone at Team Penske. Obviously, coming off a lot of momentum winning that championship last year, but nothing is guaranteed and keep working hard. Congrats to my man, (spotter) Coleman (Pressley) up on the roof. He puts in just as much effort or more as I do. I’m proud of him.”
The runner-up result was a career-best for Moffitt, who previously had one top five in the series, a fifth at Talladega.
“Once the 22 (Cindric) got up front, every time I got within a car length, I’d just push him farther forward,” said Moffitt, who chased Cindric in overtime time after taking over second place from Burton, the third-place finisher.
Jeb Burton, Harrison’s cousin, ran fourth, despite sustaining minor damage to the nose of his No. 10 Chevrolet in a three-car incident that caused the ninth caution on Lap 114 of a scheduled 120 and set up the overtime.
AJ Allmendinger was fifth, followed by Brandon Brown, Myatt Snider, Brandon Gdovic (first career top 10), Daniel Hemric and Jason White.
Corey Heim Takes Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire
Venturini Motorsports last month pinned Corey Heim as its full-time driver in the ARCA Menards Series for 2021. His first task was to attempt to extend the team’s four-race winning streak at Daytona International Speedway with a victory in Saturday’s Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire. He did just that.
The 18-year-old Heim held off his VMS teammate, pole-sitter Drew Dollar, on the last lap to win the ARCA Menards Series season-opener at the 2.5-mile tri-oval in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Heim, who won last season’s finale at Kansas Speedway to earn his first series victory, picked up right where he left off driving the No. 20 Toyota.
“I gotta give it all to (crew chief) Shannon Rursch,” said Heim of the final restart with one lap to go Saturday. “He made the perfect call, executed this race perfect. He dialed this JBL Camry in perfect.”
A caution with four laps to go set up Saturday’s overtime finish. With Heim, the leader, taking the top lane and Dollar on the bottom, the latter let the former move to the inside so the duo could work together in the draft.
Even with Dollar’s car damaged and lacking power steering, the plan worked to perfection, and VMS ended the race with a 1-2 finish.