Austin Cindric and Harrison Burton to Pilot Iconic Rides

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

Austin Cindric will drive the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske in 2022, while Harrison Burton will join Wood Brothers Racing to drive the No. 21. 

Team Penske and Wood Brothers Racing’s driver change announcements come with the news of Brad Keselowski choosing to leave the organization to pursue other opportunities. 

The decision to move Cindric into the No. 2 and Burton in the No. 21 comes with the addition of the Next Gen car, which will make its debut in 2022.  

“Austin is a champion and has proven his abilities both on and off the track.” team owner Roger Penske said in a statement. “The Cup Series is a big step for any rookie but making this move now, in conjunction with the introduction of the new Next Gen car, makes sense.  He has gained valuable experience this year competing in a handful of races at the Cup level and he has shown that he belongs out there.”

Cindric is the reigning Xfinity Series champion and currently sits atop the standings by 74 points ahead of AJ Allmendinger. He has 12 Xfinity wins for the organization, including his four victories this season. 

“Throughout my NASCAR career, I’ve grown a lot as a driver and an individual,” Cindric said in a statement from the team. “There are so many individuals within the walls of Team Penske that have elevated me to a level that matches this opportunity. The support towards my development from Roger, Team Penske, and all of our partners has been the leading factor towards race wins and a championship.”

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs 

Burton will replace Matt DiBenedetto in the legendary No. 21. He is currently fifth in the Xfinity Series standings with Joe Gibbs Racing. 

“Since I began racing quarter midgets, the hope and goal was always to become a full-time driver in the NASCAR Cup Series,” Burton said in a statement from the team. “Now, I get to do this with one of the most storied teams in NASCAR history in the Wood Brothers and with an association with Ford Motor Company and Ford Performance.”

“I don’t think I could have dreamt of a better situation to put myself in when it comes to the start of my NASCAR Cup Series career. Add to that the technical alliance with Team Penske and the knowledge I’ll gain from working with their drivers and I’m really excited for 2022 and the future. This is a great opportunity for me and I can’t thank Eddie and Len Wood enough for giving me this chance.”

WBR’s President and Co-Owner, Eddie Wood reiterated the focus of the future, adding that Burton was a great fit to fill the seat at the right time. 

“As a team owner, you always want to keep an eye for the future and what’s best for your organization in hopes to set yourself up for success long-term,” said Eddie Wood in a statement.

“As things have progressed and changed over the last few months, we had the chance to look at what our options are and when we determined that Harrison would be available for our team, we wanted to jump at the opportunity to work with him. Harrison is young, but comes from a family full of successful race car drivers.”

“The advice and support they can offer to Harrison as he makes this transition will be very important to his success. What a lot of us forget is that he is not even 21 years old yet and has only been racing in both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series for a couple of years. So when we looked at the future and finding someone to build our program around, Harrison seemed like a great option.”

Sponsorship for the No. 2 Ford will feature Discount Tires, while sponsorship for the No. 21 will include Ford Quick Lane and Motorcraft. 

All other announcements, including those to be made by Keselowski, will be announced at a later date.  

Austin Cindric and Harrison Burton to Pilot Iconic Rides  Austin Cindric and Harrison Burton to Pilot Iconic Rides Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Thursday, July 15, 2021 Rating: 5