"Oh, my god. After he had climbed out of his car to salute the 120,000-strong crowd, Cindric exclaimed, "I've got so much people to thank."
"First and foremost Roger Penske, Happy Birthday!"
Cindric drove a great race at Daytona International Speedway. The Ford drivers had a week of strategy and then executed their plan flawlessly Sunday night. The blue oval drivers drove together over 500 miles, and then were grouped together for overtime.
Cindric led the restart from the top and held a large gap. Ryan Blaney, his Team Penske teammate, ducked down to reach the bottom line and Cindric was able to work together for the two-lap sprint to finish.
Blaney made his move for first on the final lap, while Bubba Wallace did his best to keep his eye at the front. Cindric moved up to block Blaney's move, but had to keep Wallace away in a drag race.
Cindric stated, "Appreciate Ryan's great teammate." He wants to win the one.
Blaney bounced off of the wall, and cars crashed around him. Cindric was declared winner. The 23-year old Cindric won his first Cup win in his career. He was promoted from the Xfinity Series and was to replace Brad Keselowski at the No. 2 Ford, and for NASCAR's rookie-of-the-year honors.
Cindric stated, "I know there will be highs as well as lows being a rookie driver in a field with this many drivers." "I'm grateful for the chance, excited to climb that mountain with the 2 team. We're still in the playoffs. This is one box that has been checked.
Penske won the Daytona 500 for the third time. They also took home the trophy in 2008 with Ryan Newman, and 2015 with Joey Logano. Ford Motor Co. won the Daytona 500 16 times, including two consecutively.
Wallace was second in the Daytona 500 for the second consecutive time.
Wallace stated, "What could have happened, right?" "Just dejected."
A trio of Ford drivers completed the top five, with Chase Briscoe coming in third, followed closely by Blaney and Aric almirola.
Kyle Busch joined Wallace in sixth place to make him the sixth Toyota driver to finish inside the top 10. Michael McDowell was seventh. Keselowski and David Ragan were next, and Chase Elliott was the last Chevrolet to finish within the top 10.
Cindric gave his family another of the most coveted trophies in motorsports. He is the son of Tim Cindric (Penske's racing president) and the maternal grandson of Jim Trueman, who drove Bobby Rahal's winning car at the 1986 Indianapolis 500. Trueman, 51 years old, died from cancer less than a year later.
Tim Cindric, Penske, and other executives watched the finish from high up above the speedway. The father stated that his son's victory was still sinking into him during the victory lane celebration.
Tim Cindric stated, "We have had the opportunity in our family to experience nine Indy 500s and a lot more," Your kids achieving their goals is the best thing. That's what I consider the most important thing. Watching your child achieve their goals with all those who believed in them.
Cindric is the Daytona 500's first rookie winner. Trevor Bayne won the race in 2011, but Cindric was not eligible for the Cup Series rookie of the Year award. Cindric's Daytona 500 debut was in last year’s race. The race was decided by a last lap collision that brought together Cindric and his Penske team-mates. The race was a fireball of excitement for all Penske cars.
"I wanted one of them win. Tim Cindric stated that he was worried about what would happen if they came to the finish line. "I wanted one of our guys bring it home. "I think there was a lot of teamwork throughout the day."