AVONDALE, Ariz. - Austin Cindric, driver of the No. 19 Draw-Tite/Reese Brands Ford F-150, qualified for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 after finishing ninth in tonight’s Lucas Oil 150. Cindric, who was involved in an accident with Ben Rhodes on a restart with 20 laps to go, spoke about what happened after the race.
WHAT HAPPENED ON THE RESTART WITH BEN RHODES? “For me, the 27 had been executing all night. They’d been doing what they needed to to beat us and on that restart I had envisioned us getting the perfect restart and trying to pop the inside if I did. I popped the inside. Obviously, he was there because we made contact and it’s a really tough spot for the spotters to be able to see because it’s coming head-on as the spotters here are in turn one, so I’m sure his spotter was telling him to defend the bottom or ‘looking inside’ and, sure enough, I was on the inside. It’s one of those racing deals. Two guys fighting for the same amount of real estate. As I mentioned on TV, it was very similar to what happened at Homestead last year in the Cup race, two guys racing for the same real estate with Carl Edwards and Joey Logano. Unfortunately, that’s how it had to end. I wish we were able to race hard from there, racing three-wide, but we’ll move on. It will give us a shot to win a championship at Ford Championship Weekend in BKR’s last race.”
THIS TEAM WILL CEASE TO OPERATE AFTER HOMESTEAD. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO POSSIBLY BE ABLE TO WIN A TITLE IN THE TEAM’S LAST RACE? “It means the world. I’ve got crew members coming up to me with tears in their eyes. They put their heart and soul into everything they do with these trucks. I come to the shop everyday and I help out where I can and be as prepared as I can to do my job and I feel like we’ve surprised a few people coming up through the Playoffs and I’m here to keep on surprising people. That’s my job. I’m the last rookie left. We’ve got to go give it hell and we’ve got some really good pieces coming to Homestead, so I’m really excited about that. All the guys at the shop are super-pumped. It’s amazing. These group of guys, they said they were shutting down and they just work harder. It’s an honor for me to be a part of it and hopefully we can pull it off at Homestead.”
WHAT EMOTIONS DO YOU HAVE NOW? “It’s a shot for a Ford to win on Ford Championship Weekend. It can’t get much better than that for BKR’s final race and for us to be able to bring some really fast pieces to Homestead. I’m excited because I know we have a shot and that’s all we need. We’ll try and take it and obviously it’s not the perfect circumstances the way to end the race here, but we deserve it just as much as any. I think we’ve surprised a few people with how far we’ve come so far, and I just want to do it for these guys and hopefully we can have a fun night at Homestead and maybe come back with some confetti.”