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Cindric blames LaJoie for last lap Daytona 500 crash

Austin Cindric blamed Corey LaJoie for causing the final wreck in the Daytona 500 that led to the race ending under caution.

Cindric and Ross Chastain bounced off each other coming to the trioval and the white flag in Monday night’s race. Initially, Chastain took the blame for being too aggressive, but outside the infield care center, Cindric explained that his Team Penske Ford Mustang had been hit by LaJoie and sent up the track as Chastain was coming down trying to pass leader William Byron.

“Me getting wrecked. He didn’t see that,” Cindric said of what he told Chastain. “It’s just a really unfortunate end. We had a shot to win the Daytona 500. We were really in great position with the outside lane breaking up and kind of one-on-one with the 24 (Byron) with the whole pack behind, so you can’t really ask for anything else other than that out of myself and the team.

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“It just sucks a little bit.”

Byron led the field off Turn 4 with Cindric on the bottom and Chastain to his outside. LaJoie was on the bottom drafting with Cindric. When Byron moved to cover Chastain’s run from the outside lane, the Trackhouse Racing driver pulled to the left to get to his inside right as LaJoie tried to get to the inside of Cindric, was blocked, and then hit the rear bumper of Cindric to send him sideways into Chastain.