Cindric clinches Trucks playoff spot with win in Canada
By Stephanie Wallcraft, NASCAR Wire Service
Distributed by The Sports Xchange
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario — Canadian Tire Motorsport Park has a knack for hosting dramatic finishes, and Austin Cindric created one of his own in the Chevrolet Silverado 250 on Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
A dramatic last-lap incident saw Cindric push his car into the back of Kaz Grala’s car to push his way past and punch his ticket into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs by claiming his first victory of the year.
Cindric started the final lap of the 64-lap race less than a truck length behind Grala, and by the time the two rookie racers had reached the back of the circuit at Turn 5 they were nose to tailgate.
Cindric made square front-to-back contact with Grala and sent him sideways, which allowed him to move past into the lead and eventually into Victory Lane.
“I wanted to pass him clean because I’m all about that,” Cindric said. “I feel like this is what NASCAR racing is about. You have to win to make a playoff position. You can’t finish second.
“Everyone (who has won at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) made the move in the last corner. I figured I might as well change that.”
Noah Gragson squeezed by Grala’s skid to finish second, and Grala recovered and ended the day in third.
“He didn’t even attempt to pass,” Grala said of the incident. “He just drove right in there and used me as his brakes, turned me straight around and gave me no opportunity.
“Just a dirty move. I’ve got a lot of respect for him as a road course racer but lost a lot today.”
Cindric’s victory was made all the more remarkable by how much ground he was forced to recover after a mid-race penalty.
After starting on the pole and winning a caution-free first stage — which earned him his first playoff point of the season — Cindric pitted on Lap 32 and left his stall with the fuel canister still attached, drawing a stop-and-go penalty.
Because of the length of the 2.45-mile road course, he was able to stay on the lead lap, but he rejoined deep in the field.
By five laps into the final stage, he had worked his way back into the top 10. Five laps later, he was back in the top five. And after he pushed his way past Gragson for second on lap 61, he was able to make steady gains onr the final three laps to position himself to make his move on Grala.
Rounding out the top 10 were Justin Haley, Ryan Truex, Johnny Sauter, Chase Briscoe, Parker Kligerman, Austin Wayne Self, and Ben Rhodes.
The Chevrolet Silverado 250 was the second-to-last race before the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs. The final chance for drivers to land a berth comes Sept. 15 at the Chicagoland 225.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race — Chevrolet Silverado 250
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Sunday, September 3, 2017
1. (1) Austin Cindric #, Ford, 64.
2. (6) Noah Gragson #, Toyota, 64.
3. (3) Kaz Grala #, Chevrolet, 64.
4. (2) Justin Haley #, Chevrolet, 64.
5. (11) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 64.
6. (10) Johnny Sauter, Chevrolet, 64.
7. (18) Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 64.
8. (4) Parker Kligerman, Toyota, 64.
9. (20) Austin Wayne Self, Toyota, 64.
10. (9) Ben Rhodes, Toyota, 64.
11. (13) Todd Gilliland, Toyota, 64.
12. (15) Brian Wong, Chevrolet, 64.
13. (16) Grant Enfinger #, Toyota, 64.
14. (17) DJ Kennington(i), Toyota, 64.
15. (22) Jason Hathaway, Chevrolet, 64.
16. (21) Victor Gonzalez Jr., Chevrolet, 64.
17. (27) Bobby Reuse, Chevrolet, 64.
18. (26) Norm Benning, Chevrolet, 64.
19. (12) Alex Tagliani, Chevrolet, 63.
20. (7) John H. Nemechek, Chevrolet, 63.
21. (19) Cody Coughlin #, Toyota, 60.
22. (24) Camden Murphy, Chevrolet, 58.
23. (23) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, 55.
24. (14) Gary Klutt(i), Chevrolet, Suspension, 54.
25. (8) Matt Crafton, Toyota, Engine, 46.
26. (5) Christopher Bell, Toyota, Engine, 44.
27. (32) Joe Hudson, Chevrolet, Brakes, 12.
28. (29) Jennifer Jo Cobb, Chevrolet, Clutch, 7.
29. (28) Todd Peck, Chevrolet, Transmission, 5.
30. (30) Mike Senica, Chevrolet, Clutch, 2.
31. (25) Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, Suspension, 1.
32. (31) Tommy Regan(i), Chevrolet, Engine, 0.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 82.193 mph.
Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 54 Mins, 53 Secs. Margin of Victory: 3.481 seconds.
Caution Flags: 5 for 14 laps.
Lead Changes: 5 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: A. Cindric # 1-31; R. Truex 32-41; B. Rhodes 42; P. Kligerman 43-44; K. Grala # 45-63; A. Cindric # 64.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): A. Cindric # 2 times for 32 laps; K. Grala # 1 time for 19 laps; R. Truex 1 time for 10 laps; P. Kligerman 1 time for 2 laps; B. Rhodes 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 19,33,4,8,24,18,16,75,51,27
Stage #2 Top Ten: 16,29,27,98,22,96,66,45,75,51