No stewards enquiries in NASCAR…
Again in stark contrast to the hand-wringing that goes on in F1, Cindric only took victory after pushing another car into the wall – his team-mate Ryan Blaney! The pack jostled behind Cindric two by two on those final two laps, with Blaney well placed to get a run for victory at the head of the outside line. But when he made the move over the final yards, Cindric squeezed him and Blaney clouted the wall, triggering a crash behind him.
Meanwhile, the rookie kept his foot in to beat Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr by just three feet – and 0.036sec. Chase Briscoe was third, just 0.091sec behind. Such are the fine margins in NASCAR, as the premier stock car category put on a successful points-playing Cup debut for the new Next Gen racer. And was there a stewards enquiry following Blaney’s shove into the wall? Of course not.
“I wanted to win the race for Roger Penske, whether that was me or another car,” said Blaney as he explained his strategy of waiting to make his move until the race’s final moment. “That’s what I was doing. I didn’t want to make a move too early because that throws a big chance out the window.”
That didn’t mean he was happy about Cindric’s tactics. When asked whether his team-mate’s move had been fair or underhand, he answered: “I don’t know.” But in true NASCAR fashion he also took the defeat smack on the chin with an honest admission. “Congrats to him, I guess. Got to throw a block in that situation.”