Austin Cindric will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut Saturday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, driving the No. 29 Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing. He’ll do so in a substitute role for the injured Austin Theriault, who was slated to finish out the 2015 Truck Series season behind the wheel of the No. 29 before being injured in a crash with BKR teammate Tyler Reddick at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 3.
Theriault suffered a broken back after slammed head-on into a portion of the LVMS retaining wall not protected by a SAFER barrier. His HANS device broke and force caused his body so far forward that his head hit the steering wheel hard enough to bend the wheel and break the front of his helmet.
Brian Keselowski, brother of truck owner Brad Keselowski, subbed for Theriault Oct. 24 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. A date has not been set for Theriault’s return. After the Martinsville races, three races will remain on the 2015 Truck Series schedule. At the age of 17, the only track of those three at which Cindric would be eligible to compete would be Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 13. Other tracks remaining on the schedule include Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth and Homestead-Miami Speedway at which the minimum age is 18 for Truck Series competition.
“I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the Cooper Standard Ford F-150 and can’t thank Brad enough for this opportunity,” Cindric said. “I’ve never been to Martinsville, so it’ll be a whole new experience. I’ll just take it lap by lap and absorb as much information as possible. I just need to make sure I gain the respect of the competitors, because I’m new to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. I have no expectations. I’ll just take what the weekend brings me and go from there.”
Cindric has raced in seven other series, up to this point, in 2015, including the ARCA Racing Series, Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites and the IMSA Continental Tire Series. He has four wins this season in Global Rallycross and in the Continental Tire Series. He is the son of Tim Cindric, President of Team Penske, the team for which BKR owner Keselowski races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“One of the things I wanted to do at BKR is give talented young drivers an opportunity,” Keselowski said. “Austin Cindric already has an incredibly diverse racing background. We’re happy to give him an opportunity in the Cooper Standard F-150 at Martinsville to learn what it’s like to compete at a high level in NASCAR and gain experience, so he’ll be prepared to take the next step in his career.”