Austin Cindric spent his first off weekend as the new NASCAR Xfinity Series points leader still behind the wheel.
Cindric used his free time building a new kart in his garage at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, N.C. to turn some laps with.
"I got to run it a couple days ago and built it from the ground up and nothing broke, nothing fell off and it was quicker than what I had," Cindric said. "It was pretty fun to be able to do that and it’s always gratifying to put stuff together. But, I’m really looking forward to getting back to the season."
The season continues this weekend with the first of back-to-back road course races where Cindric leads the Xfinity Series to Road America for Saturday’s Henry 180. Cindric, who took the points lead with his second-place finish in the last race at Kansas Speedway, has finished in the top five in the last five races this season, which included three straight wins.
"We’ve been able to put numbers on the board with the cars that we’ve had," Cindric said on this week’s MRN Outloud podcast. "I think we’ve had some incredible race cars even before the break. I’m just really glad that we’ve been able to put that on paper and get some wins.
"It’s been step-by-step to get to this point. It’s been great to be part of the conversation this year. And now for me, it’s just to continue improving from here, you know, everyone’s going to keep getting better. It’s the middle portion of the year and you can’t stop progress."
Cindric has finished in the top five in his last six road course starts, including wins at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio last season. He’s made three series starts at Road America and finished second to Christopher Bell in 2019.
"Road America is one of those special race tracks," Cindric said. "It’s one of those race tracks you want to win at. It’s one of the most coveted race tracks and in North America and anyone that comes from any part of the globe to race there."
See Also: Road America Race Info and Schedule
The 14-turn road course in Elkhart Lake, Wis. is 4.048 miles in length, meaning only 45 laps will be contested on Saturday with stage breaks at Lap 14 and Lap 29.
"You get to take advantage a lot of the long straightaways, the front straightaway and the stretch heading to Turn 5," Cindric said. "You get up to 180 mph in a NASCAR, but our cars don’t stop so we have to break really early and really hard for really long. The surface is really abrasive and I compare it to a Homestead or an Atlanta. I mean we have so much tire wear at a racetrack like that."
Pit-road procedures will be modified for the stand alone race that will see the field be frozen at the time of caution.
"It kind of opens up room for being able to do more changes under your pit stops as well because you have more time to look over the car," Cindric said. "I think it’s 40 seconds or something like that that you’re allowed to leave afterwards. So it’s it definitely opens up the box a little bit more in that aspect but I think strategy-wise it definitely puts things more straight up."
See Also: NASCAR Modifies Pit-Stop Procedure
Motor Racing Network will have live coverage of Saturday’s Henry 180 starting at 11:30 a.m. ET.