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Tony Stewart’s NASCAR Driver Trashes Richard Childress & His Grandson’s Fierce Demand & Sympathizes With Innocent Bystander Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Published 06/07/2023, 12:50 PM EDT

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Last Sunday’s Enjoy Illinois 300 showcased the contrasting fortunes of Richard Childress Racing’s drivers. While one celebrated in Victory Lane, the other faced a disappointing crash. Austin Dillon, piloting the #3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, found himself entangled in a wreck with Austin Cindric of Team Penske. The incident not only spelled the end of Dillon’s race but also involved Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as an unfortunate bystander. In light of the controversy surrounding the incident, other drivers have weighed in on the matter.

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Stewart-Haas Racing driver Aric Almirola, in a recent interview, expressed his perspective on the incident. Almirola, a seasoned NASCAR driver, began the discussion by offering a measured view, stating, “I don’t think that Austin [Cindric] did that on purpose.”

Aric Almirola Sides With Austin Cindric Amidst Crash Confusion


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Almirola emphasized the need for caution when discussing the incident to avoid confusion between both Austins [Dillon and Cindric]. He believed that Cindric intended to fill the gap, but the contact between the cars resulted in an unfortunate chain of events, turning Dillon’s car into Cindric’s path.



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He added, “I truly believe that Austin Cindric intended to fill that gap and when these two cars make contact, as soon as his left front makes contact with Austin Dillon’s right rear quarter panel, it immediately starts to turn Austin Dillon’s car and it turns it into the direction of Austin Cindric so it makes it a small bit of contact worse because it turns them back across his nose and it puts both of them in a very bad spot.” 

Almirola also noted Cindric’s attempt to brake and avoid the collision but stated that it was too late.

He pointed out the unfortunate consequences for Ricky Stenhouse Jr, “Austin Dillon’s already hooked and going right and the poor innocent bystander of Ricky Stenhouse who was having a great day. I think that’s the missed part of this conversation, but I certainly don’t want drivers continuing to get out of the car and say that this guy should be suspended every time we have somebody get in an incident.”

Emphasizing the need to consider all aspects of the incident, Almirola concluded by stating his disagreement with drivers immediately calling for suspensions after such incidents.

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What Did Austin Dillon and Richard Childress Say After the Wreck?

During the 300-mile race, frustration mounted as drivers attempted to regain lost positions after consistent yellow flag periods. In this intense atmosphere, Austin Cindric attempted to fill a gap between Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Regrettably, Cindric misjudged the space, resulting in a collision that sent Dillon’s #3 spinning into Stenhouse’s #47, prematurely ending both their races.


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Further analysis revealed that Cindric was also turning left at the time of the wreck, adding to the complexity of the incident. Understandably, Austin Dillon was furious with the incident, believing that Cindric intentionally wrecked him, similar to previous incidents involving drivers such as Chase Elliott and Bubba Wallace. Dillon called out the Team Penske driver in a post-race interview, expressing his dissatisfaction and demanding immediate action from NASCAR. But there’s more.

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He even went as far as suggesting that Cindric should face suspension for his actions, stating, “He better be suspended next week.” Even his grandfather and team boss carried similar emotions to the press conference, where he hinted that the incident was more of a “payback.”


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However, it remains to be seen whether any penalties will be imposed on Austin Cindric by NASCAR. Austin Dillon, along with his team, certainly hopes that appropriate action will be taken in response to the incident.



Dasnoor Anand

245 articles

Dasnoor Anand is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports who brings a fresh perspective to the world of motorsports. She has always had a knack for writing and a love for cars. For years, she has been a devoted follower of motorsports and is particularly intrigued by the inner workings of Formula 1 teams as well as Stock Car Auto Racing.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh