First day of practice highlights excitement at COTA for NASCAR event

Local Sports

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Normality and excitement dominated the scene during the Xfinity Cup and Truck Series practice Friday at Circuit of the Americas.

This weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series event is the first NASCAR event to grace the city, and is the biggest event in Austin in the age of COVID-19.

This event at COTA is the third of eight NASCAR events this year that will have the full slate of practice rounds and qualifying rounds to go with the main race.

Over 40-thousand fans are expected to attend the race, and there is a feeling in “the pit” from drivers that the atmosphere will provide unbridled excitement for everyone involved.

“You almost forgot how much that [fans in attendance] added to the event,” Xfinity driver Austin Cindric said. “Obviously, bring that again this weekend, and as we continue to go back to what’s a lot more normal, I’m definitely looking forward to it, really excited to have NASCAR fans back.”

Cindric, who won the Xfinity Cup series race at Dover last weekend, finished with the fastest lap of Friday’s practice round. His time was 2 minutes, 17.778 seconds.

The challenge of the 20 turn, 3.41 mile course definitely got the best of him at times he admits, but that’s why they have practice.

“It’s a 20 turn race track, so that’s at minimum 20 opportunities to screw it up,” Cindric added. “It definitely provides a lot of challenges for the cars and teams, we haven’t practiced in so long so it’s kind of nice to get back to normal.”

Saturday brings the Truck Series race, which takes place at noon. Cindric and the rest of the Xfinity drivers will take the track for their race at 3pm.

The main event, will be Sunday’s Cup Series race, that event will begin at 1:30pm.

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