Austin Cindric advanced to the championship race at Homestead in the Truck Series, but the move that propelled him into the championship was controversial to say the least.
Cindric was competing with Ben Rhodes for the final spot when he made contact with Rhodes and sent him into the wall. Some have considered it a dirty move — including Rhodes’ spotter — but Cindric has continued to defend the move.
Rhodes and Cindric haven’t spoken about the incident yet, but Cindric did leave him a voicemail.
“There’s definitely a time and place to go three-wide,” Rhodes said. “But there was still a lot of racing to do.
“I’m not sure that was the right move on his part.”
Cindric said he reached out to Rhodes and understands why he’s unhappy, but he maintained his stance that there was no intent on wrecking him.
“For me, there was no intent there,” Cindric said. “I think it’s pretty clear watching the video I got a pretty good restart and it’s one of those deals where we’re both racing for the same spot.”
Cindric compared the incident to Joey Logano and Carl Edwards racing for the championship at Homestead and denied it being a dirty move.
However, it’s hard to watch the video of the wreck and come away thinking Cindric is free from blame. He definitely made contact with Rhodes and got him out of the way so he could advance, and by definition that’s a dirty move.
Rhodes and his team have every right to be upset, and they’ll have to watch in anguish as Cindric competes for a championship. But there’s a good chance Rhodes will get revenge at some point — whether it’s in the championship race or perhaps next season.