MADISON, Ill. – If you thought yesterday’s (June 3) NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway was the end of the driver feuds this weekend, you would be mistaken.
Instead, the Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway was the scene of a late-race wreck that left more NASCAR drivers at odds with each other.
“I was wrecked intentionally by [Austin Cindric], hooked right, just like Chase [Elliott] and Denny [Hamlin] and Bubba’s deal,” Austin Dillon said after the incident. “He better be suspended next week.”
In a marathon race at Gateway that featured heat, lightning delays, a power outage, four blown brake rotors and 11 cautions, it was a crash with 21 to go between Dillon, Cindric and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. where tempers boiled over.
The wreck incensed both Stenhouse and Dillon while leading to a weird tale of two extremes at Richard Childress Racing. Dillon’s team owner Richard Childress was celebrating a victory with driver Kyle Busch, who scored his 63rd NASCAR Cup Series win, his third of the season and his first at Gateway after finishing runner-up to Joey Logano last season.
But even with the celebrations, Childress took the time to call out Cindric when he wasn’t even asked about the incident.[Kyle Busch has] definitely helped Austin a whole lot, Austin’s had some good runs,” Childress said. “He had drove up to about 10th until the [No.] 2 car wrecked him.”
Stenhouse was swept up in the aftermath of the collision, and the wreck ended a streak of seven straight top-15 finishes for the No. 47 team.
He, too, was frustrated with Cindric.
“We had a really good streak going of really good runs, and it looked like the [No.] 2, for some reason, right reared the [No.] 3.,” Stenhouse said. “Took both of us Chevy guys out, so, that’s a bummer because we definitely had a top 10 car today.
“It’s frustrating to get taken out on the straightaway. That’s the most frustrating part this close to the end of the race, knowing that I felt like we had a top 10 going. We’ll just have to start a new streak next week, go to Sonoma [Raceway], I feel like my guys will bring a good car.”
Will this incident carry over into Sonoma? That’s what Stenhouse alluded to.
“Austin Cindric probably won’t win that race, and I think Austin [Dillon] and I will make sure of that,” Stenhouse said.
Cindric was approached by Frontstretch after the conclusion of the race, but he declined an interview.
About the author
Stephen Stumpf is the NASCAR Content Director for Frontstretch, and his weekly columns include “Stat Sheet” and “4 Burning Questions.” Stephen also writes commentary, contributes weekly to the “Bringing the Heat” podcast and is frequently at the track for on-site coverage. A native of Texas, Stephen began following NASCAR at age 9 after attending his first race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Follow on Twitter @stephen_stumpf.
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