AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric beat the doors off; Crashed across finish line at Bristol Motor Speedway
Austin Cindric: “I just got booed and just got cheered, I don’t know what’s going on. But, welcome to Bristol.”
Last night, Bristol Motor Speedway hosted the NASCAR Xfinity Series. And for the second night in a row, drivers banged each other up for the race win. This time, the winner was sent to the infield care center.
Watch the Bristol crash video below.
A late race caution put the regular season finale into overtime. Austin Cindric and AJ Allmendinger lineup on the front row. They were in a battle for the regular season title, whoever won the race would win the regular season title.
Behind them, Justin Allgaier lineup up on row two outside. Allgaier had the car to beat all night. He was battling back from a speeding penalty earlier in the race and resurfacing at the front.
The green dropped with two laps to go. Cindric noses ahead on the outside off turn two. Cindric was pulling away into turn three. Allmendinger remained on the bottom and he gased it up off turn four and used Cindric to help make his car turn. The two drivers rubber off turn four for the race lead.
1 to go
As they got sideways while taking the white flag, Justin Allgaier had a run on both of them. Allgaier drove it deep to the bottom in turn one. But, he couldn’t hold it on the bottom. Allgaier chased it up the hill, door slamming Cindric.
Both drivers ran wide in turn two and Allmendinger drove under them to take the lead off turn two.
Into turn three, Allmendinger took a narrow entry into the corner. He was protecting the inside but he sacrificed corner exit speed in the process. Cindric had a run on him.
As Allmendinger ran wide off turn four, Cindric gased up the center ran up the banking and used Allmendinger’s car to ake his turn. They exact thing Allmendinger did to him the lap prior.
Crashing at the finish
Cindric turned Allmenidnger off turn four. The two drivers slid across the finish line with Allmendinger grabbing the win by inches.
Allmendinger slammed the inside pit wall after winning the race. He bounced back across the track in turn one and multiple cars were collected.
Aj Allmendinger was unable to drive his mangled machine to victory lane. As the race winning machine was put on the hook, the race winning driver was put into the ambulance for a ride to the infield care center. Allmendinger was checked and released.
Before his trip to the medical center, Allmendinger stood on the roof of his crashed machine to celebrate.
Austin Cindric comments on AJ Allmendinger
“I thought we had a really great battle, all season long, up until this point,” Austin Cindric told NBC Sports from the pit lane after the race.
“Those guys didn’t want us to win, really bad. I hate that it completely destroyed our Ford Mustang. That’s all I got.”
At this moment, the crowd started to boo. It’s unclear if they were booing Cindric’s interview or something else.
“I got drove into the door. I feel like I maybe shouldn’t have given up the bottom. The No. 7 just got loose. Then, AJ just drove straight through us.”
“What a hell of a race, I tried. Sorry to everybody else that got involved in that wreck.”
“That’s why there’s people in the grandstands. They want to see that battle. As much as I hate it, it’s about them.”
At this point, the crowd changed their mind and began cheering.
“I just got booed and just got cheered, I don’t know what’s going on. But, welcome to Bristol.”
Cindric added, “This track has taught me so much in my career. My first time here, I spun out three times in qualifying. Tonight, got wrecked by just about everybody. It happens, it’s racing.”
AJ Allmendinger comments on Austin Cindric
“I didn’t want the contact to be that much off of four,” AJ Allmendinger explained in the media center after the Bristol win.
“I could see he was really free in turns 1-2. Knew my only chance was to kind of diamond the corner. Get out of the rubber and diamond it.”
“At that point, he’s doing his line and we make contact. We got sideways. Right there at that moment, I did check up. I didn’t want to stay in the throttle, wreck him and possibly myself. More importantly, I didn’t want to wreck him to win the regular season championship.”
“I checked up to let him straighten it out. At that point, Justin Allgaier was going for the win.”
“Do I think it was over the line? No. Because I’ve seen a lot worse, out of a lot of people. That doesn’t make an excuse.”
“I know he’s probably mad. I would be mad, I was mad after getting wrecked across the finish line.”
“It’s part of racing, it’s Bristol. I don’t ever want to make contact to win the race. So, it’s a little bittersweet. I don’t think it was fully over the line.”
“I respect Austin. Take away Roger and Team Penske, Austin Cindric himself, we had a problem earlier in the season at the Daytona road course. We talked about it and ever since then, we’ve raced really well together.”
“He’s made me way better than I thought I could be. He pushes me, they’re the champions and the team to beat.”
Allmendinger added, “What I say to him is, ‘I don’t want it to end like that.’ If he’s mad, I get it. I was mad getting wrecked coming to the checkered but I expected it. We move on.”