Team Penske is 2-for-2 this year. They won the Busch Light Clash in LA back on Feb. 6 and two weeks later, they won the Daytona 500. Now, can they keep it going for this Sunday’s Wise Power 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN) at the Auto Club Speedway?
Ryan Blaney had a great shot at it the last time out in 2020 but had a tire problem while running second in the closing laps. Still, he has three top 10’s in his last four Cup Series starts at Fontana.
Joey Logano was runner-up in 2018 to go along with four top fives in his last five tries there.
Cindric, kicked down the door to his NASCAR Cup Series rookie season with a massive victory in the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
With the victory, Cindric became the first rookie to win the prestigious event and the ninth different driver to win his first NASCAR Cup Series race in the Daytona 500; joining Tiny Lund (1963), Mario Andretti (1967), Pete Hamilton (1970), Derrike Cope (1990), Sterling Marlin (1994), Michael Waltrip (2001), Trevor Bayne (2011), Michael McDowell (2021). He also is the second youngest winner of the Daytona 500 at 23 years, 5 months, and 18 days behind Trevor Bayne, who won the event at the age of 20.
Now Cindric is looking to join Matt Kenseth (2009: Daytona, Auto Club), Jeff Gordon (1997: Daytona, Rockingham), David Pearson (1976: Riverside, Daytona), Bobby Welborn (1959: Champion, Daytona) and Marvin Panch (1957: Lancaster, Concord) as the fifth different driver to start a season with back-to-back wins.
This weekend will be Cindric’s series career track debut at Auto Club Speedway. The 23-year-old has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at 2-mile track posting a best finish of third in 2020.
With this being the first race back in Fontana since 2020 and a new car out at that, I look for Penske to have as great as a shot as anyone on Sunday.