NASCAR truck driver defends controversial bump-and-run move – For The Win
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Sunday took an unexpected turn on the last lap. Austin Cindric was chasing Kaz Grala and proved he was willing to do anything to get the win and clinch his spot in the series’ eight-driver playoffs.
It was a two-man race, and as the drivers came into one of the final turns on the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Cindric — a driver for Brad Keselowski Racing, which recently announced the team is dissolving after this season — made a move known as a bump-and-run, making contact with Grala’s truck and spinning him out.
Cindric won his first race of the season and qualified his team for the playoffs. Grala — who won the first race of the season at Daytona International Speedway in February — finished third.
It certainly wasn’t the first move of its kind, but that didn’t stop fans and drivers — including Grala — from questioning its legitimacy. Some people were outraged while others accurately pointed out this is nothing new and part of the sport.
While being interviewed on the MRN Motorsports Monday show, Cindric defended his move and said he won’t apologize for winning, adding that he usually doesn’t race that way.
Cindric’s interview begins at the 10:35 mark, and he explained:
“Honestly, it’s the game NASCAR has set up for us to play, which isn’t a negative but it’s also not a positive. Guys have dumped people for wins, especially at that race track for many, many years. And I honestly wouldn’t have done it unless I had incentive to and my incentive was to get the team a win, and my incentive was to get us in the playoffs. In any other circumstance, if we’re in the playoffs, I wouldn’t have done it. It’s just one of those deals that you had to get yourself to do. It’s the first time I’ve ever gone into a corner and known that I was going to throttle up and hit the guy in front of me. No, I wasn’t planning on spinning him out. …
“And you can’t apologize for winning. I definitely don’t like how it all ended up especially with Kaz because Kaz and I have grown up racing together. Kaz and I are friends. Obviously, that may change after that weekend. I know he’s not very happy, and he has all the right to be. It’s one of those things I’m going to have to move through and try to earn some respect back over time.”
Back when now-Cup Series drivers Chase Elliott and Ty Dillon spent most of their NASCAR time in the Truck Series in the 2013 season, almost the exact same thing happened. They were fighting for the lead on the last lap, and even closer to the finish line than the Cindric-Grala incident, Elliott hit Dillon and spun him out to get the win.
Everything Cindric did is allowed, but veteran NASCAR driver Regan Smith makes the best point here.