September 24, 2016 – Sparta, KY – Eighteen year old, Austin Cindric grabbed his first ARCA Racing Series victory in his 5th Series start during the Crosley 150 at Kentucky Speedway. As Cindric celebrated in victory lane, his teammates had suffered devastating finishes…..Chase Briscoe, the championship points leader finished 22nd, after contact with a competitor and Myatt Snider, who finished 25th for the second race in a row…suffered gear problems.
The win marked the Cunningham organization’s eighth victory of the 2016 ARCA season…five from Chase Briscoe and his No.77 team, two from the No. 22 team with drivers Myatt Snider and Parker Kligerman and the win from Austin Cindric in the No. 99,
Austin Cindric – As soon as Cindric pulled off of the track at Pocono Raceway in June, after finishing second in his best career ARCA finish, Cindric stated, “I am going to get one of these soon!” That was a prophecy of things to come.
Cindric and his No. 99 PIRTEK team had speed in the test session, posting the quickest time in the morning session and second in the afternoon session. During the lone Friday practice session, the team had a motor issue that took half of their practice time. After posting the 8th fastest time on the speed chart, Cindric and Crew Chief, Brian Wilson, hit on a set up allowing him to qualify 3rd.
The rookie ran in the top two before Wilson brought Cindric in for four General Tires and fuel. After a lightning fast stop by his crew, Cindric lined up for the restart in 2nd on lap 33. One lap later, he grabbed the point and didn’t relinquish it for the remainder of the race.
When most of the leaders came in for their remaining set of tires, Wilson kept his driver on the track. The final caution flew with five laps remaining…setting up a green, white, checkered finish in overtime. There didn’t seem to be any nerves from the rookie looking to earn his first Series victory, as he took the green flag for the final time and pulled to a comfortable lead before crossing the start/finish line to take his first ARCA checkered flag.
In the media center, Cindric said, “We’ve come up short every time here…it means a lot to finally get here. The test really helped us, but track position was key tonight.”
Chase Briscoe – As the current points leader, Briscoe was hoping to lock up the championship at Kentucky. During his warmup lap Tuesday at the test on the 1.5-mile track, Briscoe hit the wall…damaging his No. 77 Big Tine Ford so severely that the team made the 450 mile trek back to their shop in Mooresville, NC to completely tear the car down and rebuild it.
With little sleep in the 48 hour period between their arrival in Mooresville and the time that they loaded up the rebuilt Ford, the Chad Bryant-led team was running on adrenaline when they returned to the Sparta, Kentucky track Friday.
The practice session got off to a rocky start for the team, as they were experiencing some problems that were related to the complete front end rebuild. After getting the bugs worked out, Briscoe posted the 7th quickest speed. Even surprising himself in qualifying, he grabbed his 6th pole of the 2016 season by eclipsing the track record set by former Cunningham teammate, Parker Kligerman in 2009.
As Briscoe pulled off of the pit lane from the pole position, his over-the-wall crew, saluted him as he passed by with high-fives and fist pumps …acknowledging that they were behind him in his championship quest. The yellow flag came out quickly after the start of the race, for the first of several cautions. Briscoe ran in the top four cars throughout the race, until his No. 77 was involved in contact with a competitor…slamming into the wall on lap 77. The Ford suffered terminal damage, relegating Briscoe to a 22nd place finish.
As result of his second finish (in 21 races) outside of the top-10, Briscoe wasn’t able to lock up his first championship, but he needs only to start the race at Kansas Speedway on, Friday, October 14 to become ARCA’s 2016 champion.
Myatt Snider – Snider’s test session on Tuesday proved that the No. 22 Louisiana Hot Sauce Ford had good speed…posting speed in the top-5 in both sessions. Snider scraped the wall towards the end of the day, with mostly cosmetic damage.
Though Snider had early speed in practice, he didn’t get to make his mock qualifying run toward the end of practice before the red flag was shown. He posted the 9th quickest speed in the final practice speed chart, before qualifying tenth.
In the early laps of the race, Snider was moving toward the front, before radioing to Crew Chief, Paul Andrews, telling him that, “I have no drive…in any gear!” Directing the rookie to pull the car into the garage, the crew hustled back to determine the problem. Ultimately, the crew changed the transmission before sending Snider back on track to get a couple of positions since the team is competing for the car owner points.
For the second race in a row, Snider and the No. 22 team have finished 25th, after earning Snider his first ARCA Series victory in his debut race at Toledo Speedway in May.
Next race – The final race of the 2016 season, where Chase Briscoe plans to be crowned as the ARCA Series champion is Friday, October 14 at Kansas Speedway. As soon as the green flag flies for the Kansas ARCA 150, Briscoe’s team will unfurl their first championship banner. Before they can claim the championship, practice is scheduled from 9:30-11:30 CDT, with a 10 minute break at 10:25. Menards Pole Qualifying will follow at 2:25. The race is scheduled for a green flag at 7:30 and will be covered live on FS1
Briscoe will go for his championship in the No. 77 Big Tine Ford. His teammates for the season finale will be Myatt Snider in the No. 22 Louisiana Hot Sauce Ford and Austin Cindric in the No. 99 PIRTEK Ford.