Ben Rhodes vs Austin Cindric – Phoenix Raceway

Ben Rhodes and Austin Cindric crash at Phoenix Raceway – Two championship contenders battling for the final ticket

These two were racing hard all night at Phoenix Raceway. With 30 laps remaining in the race, 3 spots in the Championship 4 were clinched. 1 spot was available.

A caution came out with 30 laps to go. Austin Cindric and Ben Rhodes decided to pit. They were 4th and 5th in the championship points at this point. A championship berth is on the line.

They restarted nose to tail on the inside line with under 25 to go. Cindric had a run on the inside. He took it, making it 3 wide. Cindric had a nose on him, but that’s all he had. Rhodes drifted left to throw a block. But, it was too late.

Watch the Austin Cindric vs Ben Rhodes crash video below.

Ben Rhodes and Austin Cindric crash at Phoenix International Raceway
Ben Rhodes and Austin Cindric crash at Phoenix International Raceway (Photo: NASCAR)

They crashed well before the corner. Though, 3 wide into turn 1 wasn’t going to go well into turn 1 either. Cindric was going to have a very narrow entry. It was a bold move to try and do that. But, a championship race was on the line.

Ben Rhodes - NASCAR Truck Series crash at Phoenix Raceway
Ben Rhodes – NASCAR Truck Series crash at Phoenix Raceway (Photo: NASCAR)

Ben Rhodes was hooked to the inside wall. Across the front bumper, he was junked. Rhodes then slid back up the banking and collected Matt Crafton.

Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton - Phoenix Raceway crash
Ben Rhodes and Matt Crafton – Phoenix Raceway crash (Photo: NASCAR)

Austin Cindric continue on. However, on the radio he said a few words after the incident. “That was his fault!”

Ben Rhodes

“There’s definitely a time and place to go 3 wide,” Cindric told Fox Sports upon leaving the care center. “But, there was still a lot of racing to do. I could have done the same move to the guy in front of me. But chose not to do it because it wasn’t the time.”

“He put me in a bad place. I was tryin’ to do everything I could to try and keep the spot but once we file into turn 1, we were all gunna wreck. So, I’m not sure that was the right move on his part. We were in front of him all day long. We were gunna be into the final 4.”

“It looked like a desperation move to me because there’s so much racing left to do. I guess if I was in his position, I can’t blame him. But, it’s defiantly not the move I would have liked to see this early in the race.”

“The line in front of me started checking up. I could have done the same thing. But, you have to be smart on these restarts.”

“Well, he didn’t have the position on me at all. His nose was barely in there. He didn’t back up. He would have never made the corner. Just driving over his head. I guess, I don’t know.”

“We’ll go on to Homestead. I guess we’ll still have 5th place to cheer about. Really unfortunate for my teammate. Sad that we tore up two good truck for ThorSport Racing. Just sad to see that stuff happen.”

Austin Cindric and Ben Rhodes crash at Phoenix Raceway
Austin Cindric and Ben Rhodes crash at Phoenix Raceway (Photo: NASCAR)

Matt Crafton

“Ah, just wrong place, wrong time,” Matt Crafton told Fox Sports after leaving the infield care center.

“I told Ben, ‘the #19 better not finish Homestead,’ ” Matt Crafton keeps it brief.

Austin Cindric

“Yeah, I got a restart. I knew that was my chance to put ourselves in a position to try and get by Ben Rhodes,” Cindric tells Fox Sports after finishing 9th and transferring to the final 4.

He continued, “They’d run a great race, all race. They were doing what they need to do to beat us.”

“I popped out to pass. Obviously, that’s a really hard spot for the spotters to see coming head on. I understand that. But, like I said, that was kinda our only shot there.”

“We’re all on the inside because we made contact. He tried to defend. It wasn’t intentional on either party. I hate the way it ended.”

“But, hey it puts us in the Championship 4 and I’m really excited for my guys. This is the last race for BKR. Hopefully we can go and try to contend for a championship.”

Related: Brad Keselowski Racing will close shop after Homestead

AVONDALE, AZ – NOVEMBER 10: Austin Cindric, driver of the #19 Draw-Tite/Reese Brands Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 10, 2017 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Eddie Troconis
#27 Spotter

“We gave them the chance. They were behind our bumper and they took the cheap shot,” Troconis told Fox Sports. “I mean if they want to go race to Homestead like that they’re not gunna make it to lap 1. If this is the way they want to race.”

“We raced them clean. We were better than them, all year long. We deserve to be at Homestead. I believe NASCAR should park them. They should penalize them.

Related: Phoenix Race Results – NASCAR Truck Series

Author: Shane Walters

Ben Rhodes vs Austin Cindric
Phoenix Raceway Crash


Austin Cindric | Ben Rhodes | Matt Crafton | Phoenix Raceway | NASCAR | Shane Walters