Austin Cindric Wins First NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race In Controversial Finish At Canadian Tire Motorsports Parkby Benjamin Sanders September 4, 2017
BOWMANVILLE, ONTARIO – Austin Cindric celebrated his 19th birthday weekend in style with his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory and a Playoff berth after winning the Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on Sunday.
Cindric punted Daytona winner Kaz Grala out of the lead on the final lap for yet another controversial finish at the Canadian track. This was the fifth edition of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ lone road course race and the fifth time a driver under the age of 21-years-old claimed the checkered flag.
The Team Penske development driver overcame a pit road penalty on lap 32 to drive through the field on fresh tires. This was the first victory for Brad Keselowski Racing in 2017, and 10th for the team, which will cease operations at seasons end. Despite not being in Darlington, Cindric’s Drawtite/Reese Ford F-150 sported a throwback paint scheme to Brad’s uncle Ron Keselowski.
Before transitioning to stock cars, Cindric raced full-time in the Pirelli World Challenge Series in a McLaren 650 S, competed at the Bathurst 12-hour race in Australia and even raced in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites division. Cindric will pilot a Ford Fiesta next weekend in the main GRC category for Bryan Herta Rallycross.
Noah Gragson scored his career-best finish with second, capitalizing on Grala’s misfortune, but he was disappointed not to secure a Playoff spot. Gragson scored three road course wins in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series divisions. Grala was the only driver who could challenge Cindric and put his experience driving Lamborghini’s for former NASCAR owner Robby Benton in effective use. Ultimately, Grala finished third.
“It’s just hard racing. I used my truck up there– just a bummer. I really wanted to win this race and I gave it all I could. Just unacceptable on my part. I was in the position where I had to win and I didn’t get the job done, so my guys they put a really good Toyota Tundra under me and just really bummed out,” Gragson said.
Justin Haley overcame pit issues to finish fourth and Stage 2 winner Ryan Truex finished fifth. Rounding out the top-10 were Johnny Sauter, Chase Briscoe, Parker Kligerman, Austin Wayne Self and Ben Rhodes.
Points leader Christopher Bell blew a motor just after the start of the final stage. Bell continues to lead Sauter by 30 points.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns in two weeks at Chicagoland Speedway for the Chicagoland 225. This is the last chance for drivers to secure a Playoff spot by either winning or accruing enough points. The broadcast will be live on Friday, September 15 at 8:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images