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NASCAR: Austin Cindric wins at Gateway after Ryan Blaney’s automotive slows on the ultimate lap

Austin Cindric scored his second Cup Series win in incredibly surprising fashion on Sunday at Gateway. Cindric took the lead on the last lap after his Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney’s car suddenly slowed as it was apparently out of gas. Blaney looked poised for an easy win after Christopher Bell’s car had an engine

NASCAR: Austin Cindric wins at Gateway after Ryan Blaney’s automotive slows on the ultimate lap

Nick Bromberg

Austin Cindric scored his second Cup Sequence win in extremely shocking style on Sunday at Gateway.

Cindric took the lead on the final lap after his Group Penske teammate Ryan Blaney’s automotive all of the sudden slowed because it was apparently out of gasoline. Blaney seemed poised for a simple win after Christopher Bell’s automotive had an engine challenge with lower than 20 laps to go.

Cindric has struggled since he gained the 2022 Daytona 500. He entered Sunday’s race twentieth within the factors standings after he completed twenty fourth a season in the past with simply 5 top-10 finishes. He hadn’t gained in 85 races since he gained in his eighth Cup Sequence begin at Daytona two seasons in the past.

Blaney cycled by means of to the lead after pitting with 64 laps to go within the 240-lap race. He pitted with the data that he may make it to the top of the race with a full tank of gasoline, however his crew apparently didn’t get that gasoline tank fully full. He radioed to his crew as his automotive sputtered that he was out of gasoline and coasted to the end line in twenty fourth place.

The gamble that Blaney’s crew took gave the impression to be an incredible one. The ultimate pit cease was supposed to make sure that he made it to the top of the race on gasoline, but in addition meant he’d have older tires because the checkered flag bought nearer.

Bell pitted later than Blaney and Cindric — who was on an analogous technique to his teammate — and rapidly ran Blaney down with 30 laps to go. Nonetheless, he couldn’t get previous him after the duo battled. Blaney did a deft job of holding Bell off for a number of laps earlier than Bell’s engine points and it wasn’t inconceivable that he may have held the lead for the remainder of the race had Bell had a fully-working engine.

As an alternative, neither driver bought the win.

Denny Hamlin completed second forward of Brad Keselowski and Tyler Reddick whereas Penske’s Joey Logano was fifth. Bell limped dwelling to a seventh-place end behind Austin Dillon.

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The victory is the primary of the season for Group Penske after Blaney gained the 2023 Cup Sequence title. No Penske driver entered the race within the high 10 within the factors standings as Blaney was twelfth and Logano was seventeenth by means of the primary 14 races of the season. Over these races, the crew’s three drivers had simply six top-five finishes and 9 high 10s.

Is Kyle Larson eligible for the title?

Sunday’s race started with a big query nonetheless looming: Is Kyle Larson eligible to compete for the 2024 Cup Sequence title?

Larson missed the Coca-Cola 600 per week in the past after the rain-delayed Indianapolis 500. Larson flew to Charlotte after the Indy 500 was over however didn’t get into the automotive after rain ended the Cup Sequence race 151 laps early.

NASCAR guidelines stipulate {that a} driver has to start out all 36 races to be eligible for the championship. Nonetheless, the sanctioning physique has been exceptionally liberal when granting waivers for exceptions. Erik Jones obtained one earlier this yr for a again harm. Chase Elliott bought one in 2023 after he was suspended for a race for wrecking Denny Hamlin. Kurt Busch bought one in 2015 after he was suspended for home abuse allegations.

It’s cheap to imagine that Larson will in the end get a waiver and his choice to remain in Indianapolis and race within the 500 over the 600 was made with the data that the waiver would occur. Nonetheless, it’s now been per week since he deliberate to run each races and NASCAR has not introduced if Larson is or isn’t getting a waiver.

It’s an odd circumstance that casts an pointless shadow over the Cup Sequence. Each NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports absolutely knew that climate may wreak havoc with Larson’s plans and this may very well be a problem. Even when NASCAR was ready for this state of affairs, the delay in asserting Larson’s waiver makes NASCAR look unprepared.

On Sunday, Larson ended up ending tenth after he crashed with Kyle Busch on the finish of the second stage. Larson bought unfastened on the within of Busch in Flip 1 after the 2 had slammed doorways on the frontstretch. The contact brought about Busch to hit the wall and ended his day, whereas Larson was in a position to escape severe injury and proceed.

Regardless of not beginning the 600, Larson retained the common season factors lead after the race. He misplaced the lead on Sunday to Hamlin, who’s now 21 factors forward of the 2021 Cup Sequence champion.

Moreover, NASCAR’s factors report confirmed Larson with none playoff factors — an indication that he is at the moment ineligible for the title. Larson had accrued 17 playoff factors by means of the primary 14 races of the season.

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Race outcomes

1. Austin Cindric

2. Denny Hamlin

3. Brad Keselowski

4. Tyler Reddick

5. Joey Logano

6. Austin Dillon

7. Christopher Bell

8. Carson Nonetheless

9. Justin Haley

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10. Kyle Larson

11. Ty Gibbs

12. Ross Chastain

13. Chase Elliott

14. Chris Buescher

15. William Byron

16. Todd Gilliland

17. Chase Briscoe

18. Daniel Henric

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19. Zane Smith

20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

21. Bubba Wallace

22. Noah Gragson

23. Daniel Suarez

24. Ryan Blaney

25. Michael McDowell

26. Erik Jones

27. John Hunter Nemechek

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28. Alex Bowman

29. Ryan Preece

30. Derek Kraus

31. Harrison Burton

32. Corey LaJoie

33. Cody Ware

34. Martin Truex Jr.

35. Kyle Busch

36. Josh Berry

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