I swear to god this baby's sleep has been so difficult.

9 month old generally sleep great at night, 11 hours straight (we CIO at 6 months). Always sleeps in his crib. Does great for his morning nap at 9:30am, for 30 - 60 mins. He has never ever gone down before 2pm so I have found 3:00 is the sweet spot for his afternoon nap, which is never more than 45 minutes. this seems way too late but shortening the wake window has always backfired. He wails every single time, sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes 30. If we are driving in the afternoon, he will fall asleep super easily. He's not hungry- I either give him food or a bottle right before. His naps are too short.
Is this normal? How can I get him to sleep in his crib in the afternoon? It's excruciating to essential CIO every single goddamn afternoon.