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Xfinity Teams Hit The Twisties In Charlotte

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, September 27 2018

The Xfinity Series cars and drivers took to the track for practice at the Charlotte infield road course on Thursday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Andrew Coppley)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

CONCORD, N.C. – NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Austin Cindric, who has an extensive road racing background, said Thursday he was approaching Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVAL as if it were a street course.

“You have to have a lot of different compromises in your car and something that’s drivable,” says Cindric, who is 11th in the playoff standings. “A street course is not a permanent race track. Everything done on a permanent road course is done on purpose. Here, it’s more of a race track inside of a race track and I think that can relate to street courses.”

Thursday was the first time the Xfinity drivers had tackled the 17-turn, 2.28-mile course named the ROVAL by Charlotte personnel. The competitors had been confined to simulators and data acquired from Monster Energy NASCAR Cup teams that had tested at the facility. However, on Thursday the Xfinity teams were given two optional practice sessions. Cindric posted the fastest lap in the first session at 102.603 mph. Tyler Reddick recorded the best 10 consecutive lap average in that session with 98.801 mph. Cole Custer was the quickest in the second session with a 103.223-mph lap. In that session, Allgaier had the best 10 consecutive lap average at 102.034 mph.

Cindric said that in “a lot of ways” the course met his expectations and in some ways “we’re all still trying to figure it out.”

“It’s incredibly narrow,” Cindric continued. “I think it’s no secret the tires are going to fall off and when that happens, mistakes happen. Even on restarts it’s going to be tough to decide what lane you want to be in, where you want to be in certain spots and it’s definitely going to bottleneck in a lot of different positions.”

Cindric said qualifying and track positons during the race would be critical, but when to pit in the stages would be “extremely critical.”

Practice for the Drive for the Cure 200 continues Friday. Qualifying is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. with the race at 3 p.m., ET, both on Saturday. The event is the second in the Xfinity Series playoffs. Christopher Bell, who won at Richmond, leads the standings with Daniel Hemric second and Justin Allgaier third.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, September 27 2018
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