Race Weekend Central

Austin Cindric Holds off Ty Gibbs, Takes Home Xfinity Win at Pocono

A huge challenge from Ty Gibbs in the closing laps of Sunday (June 27) afternoon’s wasn’t enough to surpass Austin Cindric, and the No. 22 held on to score his fourth victory of the season and first career triumph at Pocono Raceway.

The Pocono Green 225 Recycled by JP Mascaro & Sons was chaotic early and calm late, with a few crashes peppering the opening stages but a long green-flag run closing out the race.

Cindric also retained his points lead and rebounded from a dismal 32nd-place finish last week at Nashville Superspeedway, scoring his first victory since Dover International Speedway in mid-May.

“Well, I didn’t know what happened to the [No.] 66 [of David Starr] there,” Cindric said of the final laps after the race. “I went from a three-second lead to a half-a-second lead, so this thing is never easy. Had to avoid two wrecks today, but it’s awesome. […] I’m over the moon.”

Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson and A.J. Allmendinger filled out the top five. Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, Jeb Burton, Josh Berry and Myatt Snider rounded out the top 10.

See also
Pocono Raceway: June 26 - 27

Things hit the fan quickly with a pair of incidents marring the opening laps, starting with a stage one crash involving Santino Ferrucci and Josh Williams. Contact from Ferrucci sent Williams’ No. 92 backing into the fence, but that marked the only incident as Harrison Burton claimed the opening stage victory, his second of the year,

As stage two got underway, a much harder crash occurred on the restart, this time involving Justin Haley and Ryan Vargas.

Haley was turned by Sam Mayer, the latter in his rookie debut, and spun down across the track, slammed into the inside retaining wall and richocheted back into oncoming traffic. He was hit again by Vargas, destroying both cars, and the initial impact was so hard that Haley had to lay on the track for a few moments after he clambered out of the No. 11 Chevrolet.

That crash brought out the red flag as cleanup continued, but things calmed down from that point on.

At least for a little bit. While racing in the top five, Burton did go around while running underneath Allgaier, spinning up into the outside wall. The No. 20 narrowly avoided contact with both Allgaier and Cindric, the latter of whom was running behind the pair.

Hemric had taken the lead by this point, but was hit with a speeding penalty on pit road after he stopped under the caution flag. This gave the lead to Gibbs, who cruised on to win the second stage – also his second of 2021, while the field fanned out in battles three- and four-wide behind him.

The restart featured yet another incident: Riley Herbst went around this time, but not before Cindric and Gragson passed Gibbs for the first and second spots, respectively.

That caution gave way to a long, long green-flag run with pit stops the ultimate deciding factor in terms of strategy. Cindric eventually cycled back to the lead with Gibbs trailing, holding a three-second advantage over the No. 54 by the time five laps remained.

See also
Myatt Snider Hopes Luck Turns Around with Pocono Top 10

That was down to about one-hundredth of a second when the checkered flag flew. Gibbs was the fastest car on track and took advantage of a poor penultimate lap from Cindric, closing up to his bumper in the final turn, but Cindric held on for the win.

“This track was on our kill list since last year,” he said post-race. “There’s a few more of those, so we’re keeping our heads down and we gotta keep getting better. We got strong competition and a lot of racing left.”

Xfinity Results from Pocono

The Xfinity Series will next head to Road America in Wisconsin for the July 4 weekend. The Henry 180 is scheduled for Saturday, July 3 at 2:30 p.m. with coverage on NBC.

About the author

Adam Cheek joined Frontstretch as a contributing writer in January 2019. A 2020 graduate of VCU, he works as a producer and talent for Audacy Richmond's radio stations. In addition to motorsports journalism, Adam also covered and broadcasted numerous VCU athletics for the campus newspaper and radio station during his four years there. He's been a racing fan since the age of three, inheriting the passion from his grandfather, who raced in amateur events up and down the East Coast in the 1950s.

Sign up for the Frontstretch Newsletter

A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I see where Brian Wilson has taken time off from the Beach Boys to be a crew chief.


Good Vibrations


He’s looking for a 409!


wouldn’t it be nice ?


asking his wife- help me Rhonda


There you go again, replying to yourself, showing your age, Matilda. You were probably old when The Beach Boys were actually a thing.

Matt Griffin

“A Double Deuce Coupe, for Team Penske they dri-i-i-i-i-ive…”?

Share via