NASCAR Star Austin Cindric Details 'Awesome Experience' Winning Daytona 500 (Exclusive)
Austin Cindric has competed in just eight NASCAR Cup Series races in his career and is already turning heads. On Sunday, the 23-year-old NASCAR driver won the 2022 Daytona 500 in overtime, holding off Bubba Wallace in the final lap. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Cindric, who described what the last 48 hours have been like for him after winning the Daytona 500.
"It's the biggest race really, really on our schedule and one of the biggest races in the world," Cindric told PopCulture. "So, it's the one everybody wants to win and obviously, a lot of excitement around it. So for me, it's been really, really busy. I probably haven't stopped talking. Since just as far as whether if it's questions or their TV time or media or whatever else it may be. All of it's great that I can easily talk about racing. I can easily talk about winning. So just an awesome experience. It's still going to keep going, but for me, it's a lot of fun to go out there and do it. That's my favorite part is going out there and being in the race and being in the moment and definitely, fun to reflect on it."
Cindric is the first rookie Cup Series driver to win the Daytona 500. He's also the second-youngest driver to win The Great American Race behind Trevor Bayne when he won it at 20 years old back in 2011. Cindric won the race for Team Penske, which was fitting because team owner Roger Penske was celebrating his 85th birthday.
"Really cool to be able to do that on Roger's birthday," Cindric said. "I can't think of a better birthday present. It's not his first Daytona 500, so it was a bit of a re-gift but I think he'll take it — but [it was] definitely an awesome experience to share with him and just to give him a hug in victory lane, he's somebody that's meant so much to me throughout my career and throughout my life. So to be able to deliver that to him and his family in this race team is pretty significant for me and pretty special."
Cindric is on his way to being a star after winning the biggest race of the season. But right now he's just enjoying the moment. "I have not gotten much sleep," Cindric revealed. "I got more sleep last night than I did Sunday night as it should be. Right. But, certainly, [an] amazing experience. I can definitely sleep later."