Race Weekend Central

Austin Cindric Wins at Gateway

Austin Cindric scored his second career NASCAR Cup Series win Sunday (June 2) after passing his teammate Ryan Blaney, who ran out of fuel, with two laps left in the Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway.

See also
Gateway Remaining on Cup Series Schedule in 2025

It looked as if Christopher Bell was going to go back-to-back with another dominant showing until engine problems allowed Blaney to surge past the No. 20 Toyota. Blaney then settled into a one-second lead over his teammate Cindric; however, the No. 12 Ford slowed with one lap remaining due to low fuel, allowing Cindric to take the checkered flag for the first time since the 2022 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

“Yeah, honestly I’m heartbroken for the 12 team,” Cindric told FOX Sports 1. “I don’t know what happened to them at the end of the race, but they deserved to win this race. Ryan’s been a hell of a leader on this team, you know. This weekend was a great weekend for everybody involved.”
“Never thought in my mind that we were short,” a defeated Blaney said. “Just one lap short.”

Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Tyler Reddick and Joey Logano made up the top five in second through fifth, respectively. Austin Dillon, Bell, Carson Hocevar, Justin Haley and Kyle Larson rounded out the top 10 in sixth through 10th, respectively.

Bell swept stages one and two with dominant showings in both. In stage one, Bell muscled past pole winner Michael McDowell, and in stage two, he checked out with a two-second lead, claiming the stage win under caution.

The caution came following Larson losing it on the inside of Kyle Busch after brief contact prior to entering turn 1, sending both into the wall. The drivers were fighting for seventh place with one lap remaining in the second stage.

“I’m sure it’s my fault,” Busch said. “But I hate it for my guys. Everybody on the Rebel Camaro, we can’t afford days like this.”

Busch’s day ended on lap 140.

Stage one point winners included Blaney, Cindric, Hamlin, William Byron, Ty Gibbs, Reddick, Logano and Chase Elliott from third through 10th, respectively.

Stage two point winners were Cindric, Blaney, Elliott, Logano, Keselowski, Chase Briscoe, Hocevar, Dillon and Hamlin from second through 10th, respectively.

Other incidents in the Enjoy Illinois 300 included two early spins in turn 2 involving Cody Ware, Derek Kraus and John Hunter Nemechek, a flat tire that ended Martin Truex Jr.’s chances of victory, and a hard hit into the outside wall in turn 3 for Josh Berry.

“Either a cut tire from the rotor exploding or we ran something over,” Berry told Frontstretch.

Cindric becomes the ninth different winner in the Cup Series and appears headed to the playoffs, albeit there are 11 races left in the regular season.

Cup Results from Gateway

Next Sunday (June 9), the Cup Series returns to road course racing for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Coverage to be provided by FOX, PRN and SiriusXM beginning at 3:30 p.m. E.T.

About the author

Contributor (Sunday News)

Ty joined the Frontstretch team in February of 2024 as a Contributor covering Sunday news. He is an avid NASCAR and NHL fan. Outside of sports, Ty enjoys playing guitar and writing horror fiction. He has two books available on Amazon: A Perfect Sundae and Chartreuse: Crime & Horror Short Stories.

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TiminPayson

I have to ask, was his boy friend in victory lane

DoninAjax

Watching Blaney and Bell running together made me wonder how different it would have been if it was the 11 instead of the 20!

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