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Cindric explodes onto the main stage

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A little over a week ago most sports fans wouldn’t have heard the name, Austin Cindric. He sounds more like a star of the WWE or European soccer but all that has changed and Austin is now the name on the lips of everyone with a passion for motorsports. The speedster raced to fame at the weekend following a stunning win in the world-famous Daytona 500 race. Before a trackside audience in the thousands that were boosted by the millions watching on TV and through live streaming apps worldwide, Cindric caused a huge upset when claiming the 2022 Daytona 500 title.

The Daytona 500 odds that were available pre-race suggested Austin didn’t have a chance. Traders working at the leading online sportsbooks priced him as an also-ran, a driver who was capable of playing a part during the early exchanges with the speed to trouble the leaders before falling off the pace and failing to make an impact at the business end of the contest.

It’s not often we see the odds-makers at major bookies get it so wrong but it happens from time to time and on this occasion, the traders were well off the mark. They failed to give Cindric the respect he deserved and were made to pay a hefty price. Lovers of Nascar who spotted his potential bagged a healthy profit by betting on Austin to upset the odds and win the Daytona 500 as the champion became an overnight sensation.

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Daytona 500 does its bit

It wasn’t just the result that caught many Nascar fans off guard, it was the manner of his victory that will ensure it goes down in history. Fans of Nascar had been looking forward to the 2022 Daytona 500 since the beginning of the year. This race ranks as one of the major events on the motorsport calendar and it attracts a healthy mix of avid Nascar supporters and casual followers. Daytona 500 is an advert for Nascar, attracting new customers every year.

In terms of advertising the sport and selling Nascar to a new audience, this year’s Daytona couldn’t have done much better. The race went into overtime due to a crash with the eventual champion decided on the last lap. It went right to the line and a photo finish was needed to declare a winner. If a Hollywood scriptwriter had penned this story, critics would have labelled it far-fetched but the late drama was all very real.

Those placing bets on the outcome of the race found Austin further down the pecking order than he deserved to be. Even during the race when the leading bookies offered in-play betting, the odds suggested he would do well to end on the podium. But Nascar is a sport that rarely follows the script and part of the reason it’s so popular is that it’s unreliable and exciting. You never know what you are going to get from a contest.

In the champion, Austin has shown us he is a driver that deserves our respect and he shouldn’t be easily written off. He went from a relative unknown in the sporting world to one of the leading names on the circuit. All this happened overnight but he won’t disappear in a hurry. If Austin continues to perform at the levels we saw from him at Daytona 500, he is sure to be a major player in this season’s title race.

Success catches Austin by surprise

Not only is Cindric the Daytona 500 champion and new star of Nascar, but he is also in the running to be named the season’s Rookie of the Year. The down to earth driver even seemed surprised by his success, telling reporters he hadn’t packed enough underwear as he wasn’t planning on sticking around this long. He hadn’t bargained for the media attention and the adulation of fans that comes with being a champion of one of motorsport’s biggest races.

Austin’s name is on the trophy alongside 64 former champions but he is one of only nine who captured their first career Cup Series victory in the Daytona 500 race. How far can Austin go this season? Is he the future of Nascar? Followers will have to wait and see.

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