With just a few laps remaining in Sunday’s Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, it looked like 18-year-old Kaz Grala was poised to win his second race of the year. Things went awry for the teenager when Austin Cindric, a driver admittedly desperate to win and clinch a playoff spot, made a last ditch effort exiting turn 5b.
Cindric, who had one of the fastest, if not the fastest truck all day, went into the corner hot on the final lap. A turn known for needing momentum on the exit of the corner heading up the steep hill at CTMP, could’ve seen Cindric mash the brakes a little harder, avoiding Grala, but the Brad Keselowski Racing driver would lose all momentum, and most likely, he would lose the race. Cindric made a decision to turn the No. 33, and it was a decision Grala didn’t take lightly.
“That was a dump and run,” Grala said to FOX Sports reporter Chris Neville post-race. “To be honest, I know he’s racing for a playoff spot and all that, but he didn’t try to pass us either. He just got into us, and ran us over. … I don’t think he even braked for turn 5. I know he’s a great road course racer. I have a lot of respect for that, but I lost some right there.”
Ultimately Grala would end the day in third, despite getting spun on the final lap. It was a strong showing for the rookie driver out of Massachusetts. The finish marked Grala’s third top-five of the season following the win to open the season at Daytona International Speedway, and a second-place finish earlier this summer at Dover International Speedway.
As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes a week off, Grala and his No. 33 GMS Racing team will prepare for Chicagoland Speedway where Grala will try to capitalize on the opportunity to obtain a few more playoff points before the start of a seven-race stretch for the championship.