Motorsport News

A Good, Old Fashioned Strategy Race  

Nascar Cup Series

What Happened?

When the smoke cleared at World Wide Technology Raceway, Austin Cindric stood atop his race car, victorious for the first time since the 2022 Daytona 500. Cindric passed Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney coming to the white flag as the No. 12 ran out of fuel.

Behind Cindric, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski claimed the other two podium positions. 

While he stole the victory, Cindric certainly still earned it after leading 53 laps throughout the afternoon, the most he has ever led in a race. 

What Really Happened?

A caution-free final stage wrapped up a good, old-fashioned strategy race at Gateway. A myriad of early pit strategies and a mixture of late-race problems shook up the field all day, keeping the racing fairly fun on a track where passing proved difficult.

Strategy races may not present as the most entertaining, side-by-side, action-packed events, but this particular day’s strategies helped this race shine, building to an entertaining climax at the finish. 

It began early with a couple of cautions where drivers further back pitted, only to flip the field at the end of the opening stage by taking two tires.

Another caution in stage two mixed the field up even more, adding a perfect seasoning to what at times seemed like a bland race.

By putting the best cars in the middle of the pack and by running green in the last stage, the strategies sparked up a memorable final stage. 

Christopher Bell had the dominant car, and once he took the lead in the opening stage, he took off. Behind Bell, a certain lack of passing plagued the field in the first few runs of the race. After the cautions switched up the strategies, however, Bell found himself in the middle of the field, and the cars in front put up a little bit of fight. 

Too often these days, a good, old-fashioned strategy race gets interrupted by a caution that ruins the strategies and the on-track action. With the final stage running green, however, it allowed the various plans to play out fully.

When races have cautions split the stages, the restarts are entertaining for a few laps, but then everyone equals out in this car. The timing of the final pit stops made this race much more interesting.

The drivers with track position had to pit earlier in the stage….

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