Austin Cidnric has been running full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2018 and was instantly a racer that showed he could have what it takes to be a star in the sport someday. In his second season he finally got his first win and finished the season with 2 wins, 14 top 5 and 24 top 10s. 2020 would be his true breakout year however scoring 6 wins and an Xfinity Series championship driving for Team Penske. Over the off season Cindric signed a contract with Wood Brothers Racing and would take over Matt Dibenedetto as the driver of the #21 car. This, in my opinion, is an awful move. We can start by looking at Wood Bros success in recent years, there hasn’t been much aside from Talladega and Daytona. Aside from 1 season with Ryan Blaney, the team also has not had a single season where their average finish was even inside the top 10, Cindric deserves better than to be another driver with promise going into Cup, having a bad ride, then “not being good enough” because his car simply cannot compete.
Cindric has it made in the Xfinity Series, he has a fast car, is the best driver in the series and is on an amazing team, why would he give all that away when he can wait a year and see if more rides open up for him. Aging drivers like Harvick, Keselowski, and Ryan Newman are all options that are going towards retirement age sooner rather than later and they are all better rides than the Wood Brothers car that he will be driving in 2022.
Cindric should be a Cup driver don’t get me wrong but he should go right into a top ride, especially if he defends his championship for another year and goes back to back. It will be interesting to see if Cindric can perform in a car that is not up to his standard but I am sure he can make something out of it and use it as a platform for what can be an amazing Cup career.