There is not a strong contingent of NASCAR drivers in the Rolex 24 field this year. In fact, Cindric is the only full-time Cup driver that will be taking part in the IMSA race this weekend.

The reigning Daytona 500 winner has fond memories at this historic track, but this layout is much different. That is just fine with him, though. The Penske driver has extensive road racing experience, which largely helped him secure this particular ride.

Cindric will be driving the No. 51 Oreca for Rick Ware Racing in the LMP2 division, and he has some talented teammates to share with. Formula One reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi, Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver Devlin DeFrancesco, and fellow American Eric Lux will all get their turn in the seat. DeFrancesco and Lux were part of the winning team in LMP2 last year with DragonSpeed.

This will be the fifth Rolex 24 start for Cindric, who took home Rookie of the Year honors last season in Cup. He has eight total starts in IMSA competition, finishing sixth in class with JDC-Miller Motorsports in the 2018 Rolex 24 event.

"This kind of feels like home in some ways," Cindric admitted. "I’ve been coming to Daytona a lot longer for this race than I have for the 500 or NASCAR Speedweeks. So when I get on the speedway for the first time for qualifying in the Cup car, I blow by the bus stop chicane and feel like I’ve missed the corner, so much so that my heart sinks a little bit and then I realize I am on the correct line. That’s how used to the Rolex weekend I am."

"I think the first step to winning is having a really good driver lineup, especially in a category where the car is essentially spec. I think we have a really strong lineup. Just going through the progression, I'm happy to be part of it. Eric and I have wanted to put something together for a few years now and it’s kind of cool to pull that off and I’m excited for the race."

Cindric and the RWR team will start 15th on Saturday, as they qualified sixth in the ten-car LMP2 class. The 24-year old will play his part to help the team secure a win in the iconic 24-hour race. He won NASCAR’s biggest race on the oval, but he has won here on this road course as well.

When NASCAR held the season-opening Clash race on the Daytona road course in 2021, it would have been the perfect event for Cindric. When the series moved the event to Los Angeles last year, a return to Daytona was essentially out the window. He has two Xfinity series starts on the Daytona road course, winning the 2020 race from pole position and finishing runner-up in the 2021 race.

Cindric believes that he can gain something from participating in the Rolex that would apply to his Cup program. The season begins next weekend on the west coast with the Clash, then it is back to Daytona where he will try to replicate his monumental win from a year ago.

Cindric will try to become just the fifth driver in Daytona 500 history (Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Denny Hamlin, Sterling Marlin) to win the race in back-to-back years. It will be a tall order, but one that he is embracing as he enters his sophomore season.

There are only four drivers (Mario Andretti, AJ Foyt, Jeff Gordon, Jamie McMurray) that have ever won the Daytona 500 and a class victory in the Rolex 24. Cindric is hoping to join that exclusive list of drivers this weekend. "I want to win this race. That’s why I put so much work in. That’s why I don’t care about sacrificing my last two weeks of the offseason because this is something I’m really passionate about. I’m not passionate about just doing the event, I want to go win it."