9.4.13 (via Open-Wheels.com) – This year's Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda features one, of if not the most, competitive grid in all of the Mazda Road to Indy. Qualifying sessions and races are often tightly contested and always action-packed. The reward for the USF2000 champion is a step up to the next rung on the road to Indy ladder, the Pro Mazda Championship. One of the young drivers striving to make a name for himself in USF2000 is that of Austin Cindric. Cindric is driving for Andretti Autosport this season in the #77 Nightrain car.
If the name Cindric sounds familiar to IndyCar fans, it's because it should. Austin's father is Tim, President of Penske Racing. But the younger Cindric doesn’t let that pressure get to him. “I think my Dad explains it the best. When he watches my races he just wants to be my Dad and nothing else and I think that is just the way I look at it whenever he is there. He gives me a lot of advice telling me to be smart, all the little things. He helped spot for me at Mid Ohio. Anything he can do to help out he is more than happy to do.”
Austin is currently 19th in series point standings after a rocky start to the year but is starting to find his footing “The past couple of races I have been pretty happy with myself and the way things have gone with all the outside circumstances. I can't control them, but due to mechanical failures and some difficulties on track with other cars and racing incidents, we had a rough start. Then we got to Toronto about halfway through the season and Race One didn’t go too well. But, Race Two I had to start 24th, we made our way up to 13th and made a lot of improvement there, and we got our setup down. Then we moved on to Mid-Ohio, and we got up on the top of the time charts like we wanted to and we just improved every race. We got our first top 10 in Race Three (at Mid-Ohio) so we are just using our momentum to go to Laguna and see what we can do there.”
The Concord, North Carolina native knows the USF2000 series is a great training series for any aspiring professional racing driver due to its ultra competitive nature “With the fields as close as they are, Mid-Ohio qualifying was like from first to 18th 1.1 seconds. Its just crazy how competitive it is. On a side note, it is really good for someone like me who is learning. It helps to learn how to pass people really well, but it also makes the racing really difficult. Its a lot of fun and its a privilege to be a part of it.”