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Race report
NASCAR Cup Gateway

NASCAR Cup Gateway: Cindric earns shock win as Blaney runs out of fuel

Austin Cindric picked up a surprise NASCAR Cup victory on Sunday at St Louis when his Penske Ford team-mate Ryan Blaney ran out of fuel in the final laps.

Blaney, the reigning Cup champion, looked primed to pick up his first win of the 2024 season after surviving a wild duel with the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Christopher Bell.

Cindric had cut Blaney’s lead to under two seconds with three of 240 laps remaining when Blaney’s car suddenly fell off the pace.

Cindric inherited the lead and held off Denny Hamlin (JGR) by 3.844 seconds to pick up his second career victory and ended an 85-race winless streak dating back to the 2022 Daytona 500.

Cindric, who was in danger of missing the playoffs, locked himself in the 16-driver field with a victory he admitted Blaney had earned.

"Honestly, I'm heartbroken for [Blaney's] team," Cindric said. "I don't know what happened to them at the end of the race, they deserved to win this race.
"Ryan has been a hell of a leader on this team.
"This weekend was a great weekend for everybody involved. But, yeah, to have two [Penske] cars in the fight, eventually 1-2, heartbroken for those guys." 
Asked what the win does to turn around a tough season, Cindric said, "It's everything. It's absolutely everything. Great to win in front of this amazing crowd."
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards\Richmond Water Heaters Ford Mustang and Austin Cindric, Team Penske, Freightliner Ford Mustang

Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Menards\Richmond Water Heaters Ford Mustang and Austin Cindric, Team Penske, Freightliner Ford Mustang

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Cindric had led the race from stablemates Blaney and Logano at the start of Stage 3, by electing to stay out when several of the lead lap cars elected to pit. 
Bell, among those who stopped before the start of the final stage, remained out much longer than the Penske contingent and made his final stop with 46 laps remaining.
Once the final drivers completed their stops, Blaney took over the lead with 23 laps to go but Bell had much fresher tyres that meant they ran side-by-side until Bell suddenly announced he was “blowing up” over his team radio and lost pace.

Brad Keselowski ended up third after recovering from a loose wheel on his RFK Ford in Stage 1 that required him to pit twice and fall to the rear of the field.

Tyler Reddick was fourth and Joey Logano rounded out the top five.

Austin Dillon took sixth as Bell, who had won Stages 1 and 2, limped home seventh.

Carson Hocevar, Justin Haley and Kyle Larson - who survived hitting the wall on the final lap of Stage 2 after contact with Kyle Busch that ended the latter's race - completed the top 10.

Blaney did finally cross the finish line and ended up credited with a 24th place finish and last car on the lead lap.

NASCAR Cup Gateway Results

CLA DRIVER # MANUFACTURER LAPS TIME INTERVAL PITS POINTS
1 A. CindricTEAM PENSKE 2 Ford 240

2:48'03.507

  5 56
2 D. HamlinJOE GIBBS RACING 11 Toyota 240

+3.844

2:48'07.351

3.844 7 42
3 B. KeselowskiRFK RACING 6 Ford 240

+4.286

2:48'07.793

0.442 9 40
4 T. Reddick23XI RACING 45 Toyota 240

+6.418

2:48'09.925

2.132 7 36
5 J. LoganoTEAM PENSKE 22 Ford 240

+10.332

2:48'13.839

3.914 6 39
6 A. DillonRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 3 Chevrolet 240

+11.021

2:48'14.528

0.689 7 33
7 C. BellJOE GIBBS RACING 20 Toyota 240

+13.034

2:48'16.541

2.013 7 50
8
C. HocevarSPIRE MOTORSPORTS
77 Chevrolet 240

+13.392

2:48'16.899

0.358 7 32
9 J. HaleyRICK WARE RACING 51 Ford 240

+13.668

2:48'17.175

0.276 8 28
10 K. LarsonHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 5 Chevrolet 240

+13.746

2:48'17.253

0.078 7 27
11
T. GibbsJOE GIBBS RACING
54 Toyota 240

+13.816

2:48'17.323

0.070 7 30
12 R. ChastainTRACKHOUSE RACING 1 Chevrolet 240

+14.054

2:48'17.561

0.238 7 25
13 C. ElliottHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 9 Chevrolet 240

+15.488

2:48'18.995

1.434 7 32
14 C. BuescherRFK RACING 17 Ford 240

+16.857

2:48'20.364

1.369 8 23
15 W. ByronHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 24 Chevrolet 240

+17.167

2:48'20.674

0.310 7 27
16 T. GillilandFRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS 38 Ford 240

+24.943

2:48'28.450

7.776 7 21
17 C. BriscoeSTEWART-HAAS RACING 14 Ford 240

+25.168

2:48'28.675

0.225 7 24
18 D. HemricKAULIG RACING 31 Chevrolet 240

+26.631

2:48'30.138

1.463 8 19
19
Z. SmithSPIRE MOTORSPORTS
71 Chevrolet 240

+30.557

2:48'34.064

3.926 7 18
20 R. Stenhouse JrJTG DAUGHERTY RACING 47 Chevrolet 240

+31.538

2:48'35.045

0.981 8 17
21 B. Wallace23XI RACING 23 Toyota 240

+31.972

2:48'35.479

0.434 7 16
22 N. GragsonSTEWART-HAAS RACING 10 Ford 240

+33.033

2:48'36.540

1.061 7 15
23 D. SuarezTRACKHOUSE RACING 99 Chevrolet 240

+34.528

2:48'38.035

1.495 8 14
24 R. BlaneyTEAM PENSKE 12 Ford 240

+41.713

2:48'45.220

7.185 8 29
25 M. McDowellFRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS 34 Ford 239

+1 Lap

2:48'05.357

1 Lap 9 21
26 E. JonesLEGACY MOTOR CLUB 43 Toyota 239

+1 Lap

2:48'05.693

0.336 7 11
27 J. NemechekLEGACY MOTOR CLUB 42 Toyota 239

+1 Lap

2:48'05.862

0.169 8 10
28 A. BowmanHENDRICK MOTORSPORTS 48 Chevrolet 239

+1 Lap

2:48'09.948

4.086 7 9
29 R. PreeceSTEWART-HAAS RACING 41 Ford 239

+1 Lap

2:48'11.004

1.056 7 8
30 D. KrausKAULIG RACING 16 Chevrolet 239

+1 Lap

2:48'11.484

0.480 9 7
31 H. BurtonWOOD BROTHERS RACING 21 Ford 239

+1 Lap

2:48'13.136

1.652 7 6
32 C. LajoieSPIRE MOTORSPORTS 7 Chevrolet 239

+1 Lap

2:48'15.055

1.919 7 5
33 C. WareRICK WARE RACING 15 Ford 238

+2 Laps

2:48'16.156

1 Lap 10 4
34 M. Truex JrJOE GIBBS RACING 19 Toyota 237

+3 Laps

2:48'10.096

1 Lap 9 3
35 K. BuschRICHARD CHILDRESS RACING 8 Chevrolet 139

+101 Laps

1:42'21.119

98 Laps 6 2
36 J. BerrySTEWART-HAAS RACING 4 Ford 109

+131 Laps

1:19'22.086

30 Laps 6 1

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