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Austin Cindric speaks out about incident with Austin Dillon, releases data

DSprofileby:Dustin Schutte06/06/23


Austin Cindric Illinois
(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Austin Cindric is out to prove his innocence as it relates to Sunday’s dust-up with Austin Dillon during NASCAR‘s Enjoy Illinois 300. He’s bringing data and analytics to his argument, too.

Late in Sunday’s race in St. Louis, Cindric made contact with Austin Dillon, causing Dillon to wreck and collecting Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the process. Many thought the hook was intentional, but Cindric took to Twitter to defend himself.

Cindric shared a video of the data and also posted a note regarding what occurred.

“I actually start to roll out of the throttle as I recognize the 3 car is trying to fill the gap,” Cindric wrote. “My steering angle does not shift to the left until we make contact. Not exactly the type of behavior you’d expect from someone trying to catch and hook another car.

“Safety is a very important topic and one that is taken very seriously in our industry. Reviewing the data, at no point do I see any neglect towards the safety of others on the racetrack from any drivers involved in this incident, myself included.”

Cindric’s use of data puts to bed allegations from Dillon and car owner Richard Childress that the move was “intentional.”

NASCAR makes decision on Austin Cindric’s status

Despite some calling for Cindric to face a suspension, NASCAR will not penalize the driver for Sunday’s actions. Senior vice president of competition, Elton Sawyer, spoke with SiriusXM about the decision this week.

“We didn’t see anything that really would rise to a level that would be a suspension or a penalty,” Sawyer said. “It looked like hard racing. One car coming up a little bit and another car going down. …

“As we said last week, we take these incidents very seriously when we see cars that are turned head-on into another car or head-on into the wall. I spent a lot of time looking at that, looking at all the data, looking at TV footage and just deemed this one really hard racing.”

Comments made by Sawyer run counter to what Dillon — the victim in Sunday’s race — thought after getting knocked out of the Enjoy Illinois 300. He fumed over what he called an “intentional” act.

“I was wrecked intentionally by him,” Dillon said after the race. “Hooked right, just like Chase [Elliott] and Denny [Hamlin] and Bubba [Wallace’s] deal. He better be suspended next week.”