With No Shoe and Sock he Makes His Stamp on 500 Lure; Customary Rolex, Rings, Leather Jackets, Coveted Trophies Awarded
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2022) – A day after placing his name in Daytona International Speedway’s record book with his first career NASCAR Cup Series triumph, rookie Austin Cindric was honored Monday during a “Champion’s Celebration” inside the track’s Ruoff Victory Lane. As is customary, there were plenty of special gifts awarded only to a DAYTONA 500 Champion and his team, but then out of nowhere, Cindric began his own tradition.
One of the tasks at hand was for Cindric to place his handprints and footprint into wet concrete that will soon be a permanent square on the Speedway’s ‘Champion’s Sidewalk’ in front of the Ticket and Tours building and Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Every footprint of past DAYTONA 500 Champions actually showcases the driver’s imprint, using the bottom his racing shoe. Not Cindric, however, who took off his shoe and sock before planted his bare foot in the mushy cement.
“I guess I just like being me, and sometimes that may be different from others,” said Cindric, who afterwards wiped down his foot. “I can wash my feet because I decided I didn’t want to mess with my racing shoes, or the shoes I have on today. Hopefully the fans will think it is cool with my actual footprint.”
The Champion’s Celebration also includes the Champion Crew chief and car owner. Cindric, driver of the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske, was joined by crew chief Jeremy Bullins and Greg Penske, who was subbing for his legendary father and car owner, Roger Penske.
They received customary 2022 DAYTONA 500 Champion rings and 2022 black leather jackets while a special Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona was presented to Cindric as the Champion driver. Bullins was awarded the Cannonball Baker (long-time NASCAR Commissioner) Trophy as the Champion Crew Chief, while the unique Harley J. Earl Trophy for the Champion car owner, was on display.
Cindric, the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion, became the ninth driver in history to post his first career victory in the season-opening DAYTONA. He joined Tiny Lund (1963), Mario Andretti (1967), Pete Hamilton (1970), Derrike Cope (1990), Sterling Marlin (1994), Michael Waltrip (2001), Trevor Bayne (2011), Michael McDowell (2021).
NASCAR returns to Daytona in August with the running of the Wawa 250 (Aug. 26) and the Coke Zero Sugar 400 (Aug. 27), the final race that will determine the driver lineup in the NASCAR Playoffs. For more information, log onto www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest speedway news.
About Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is a state-of-the-art motorsports facility and was awarded the SportsBusiness Journal’s prestigious Sports Business Award for Sports Facility of the Year in 2016. Daytona International Speedway is the home of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series event garners most of the attention – as well as the largest audience in motorsports – the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex, also known as the World Center of Racing, boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe. In addition to at least nine major event weekends, the Speedway grounds are also used extensively for events that include concerts, civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training. The iconic venue will be the site of a host of motorsports events early in 2022, beginning with AHRMA Classic Motofest and the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA in January, and the 64th DAYTONA 500, which will debut the first points race for NASCAR’s ‘Next Gen’ car as part of Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth in February. The tradition-rich 81st Annual Bike Week At DAYTONA returns in March, featuring DAYTONA Supercross and the DAYTONA 200, and in May with the Heroes Honor Festival. Later in the summer during Independence Day weekend, the track, in association with Torneos, will host Soccer Fest before the NASCAR Cup Series returns for the final race of the regular season with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Aug. 27.