According to an update provided by NASCAR ahead of the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube, Cindric made history when he held the top spot in the championship standings for two consecutive weeks. He was the first driver to achieve this goal. Though Jimmie Johnson held the points lead as a rookie for one week after the 2002 race at Kansas Speedway.
Cindric kicked off the streak with the season-opening Daytona 500. He held off Bubba Wallace in the Crown Jewel race to capture the first win of his Cup Series career and secure 45 points. The Team Penske driver then finished 12th at Auto Club Speedway and maintained his lead in the standings.
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Cindric Has a Narrow Lead Over a Teammate
With 85 points to his name, Cindric has the top spot in the championship standings. However, he only has a narrow lead over one of his Team Penske teammates.
Joey Logano, the driver of the No. 22 Ford Mustang, has 77 points after the first two races of the season. He finished 21st overall in the season-opening Daytona 500, which put him in the 11th position. However, Logano’s fifth-place run at Auto Club Speedway added 44 points to his total and moved him up to second place. He holds a four-point advantage over Martin Truex Jr. and a seven-point advantage over teammate Ryan Blaney.
The Team Penske drivers will battle for the top spot during the trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Logano will enter the weekend with the advantage based on his history of production at the 1.5-mile track. The driver of the No. 22 has 17 starts with an average finish of 8.6 and two trips to Victory Lane. Logano won both the 2019 and 2020 Pennzoil 400 Cup Series races.
Cindric Leads Another Competition After 2 Races
Reaching the playoffs and winning the regular-season championship to lock up bonus points are the most important goals early in the year. Cindric is off to a strong start, but he will have to keep performing in order to maintain his lead.
The driver of the No. 2 is actually leading in two separate competitions. The second is the Rookie of the Year battle between Cindric and two of his peers. Harrison Burton, who drives the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, is 72 points behind Cindric after two crashes ended his first two races. He is 34th in points heading toward Las Vegas.
Gilliland, the driver of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford Mustang, is 55 points behind Cindric after the first two races. He finished the Daytona 500 33rd overall after a crash before taking the 20th position at Auto Club Speedway the following week.
Burton and Gilliland will both have to start gaining ground in order to chase down their fellow rookie. This task will be more difficult for the driver of the No. 38 after NASCAR suspended his crew chief and two crew members due to a lost wheel at Auto Club Speedway. They will miss four points-paying events, provided FRM does not win its appeal.