NASCAR: Reddick outduels Busch to win Cup Race at COTA

Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota  driver Tyler Reddick outdueled  Chevy drivers Kyle Busch and Alex Bowman through triple overtime to win the Echopark Automotive GP NASCAR Cup Race at COTA Sunday.

The race was like watching paint dry, run at an average speed of under 69 mph .

On the final restart at Lap 74, Reddick’s No. 45 Toyota for 23XI Racing escaped a fierce battle behind him in Turn 1 between Kyle Busch and Alex Bowman for second. Challenged numerous times, Reddick led a race-high 41 laps after starting second. The race was sent to a third overtime as the tire carcass of Daniel Suárez’s No. 99 Chevrolet littered the backstretch.

Reddick struck the finish line first, 1.411 seconds ahead of Busch, who drives the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet that Reddick piloted a season ago. Bowman was third ahead of defending race winner Ross Chastain and polesitter William Byron.

Tyler had to overcome three restarts at the end of that race, multiple restarts, different pit strategies throughout the course of the day. His car was flat-out fast.

It means the world to me to win,” said Reddick. “This whole 23XI team has been working so hard all winter long to make the road course program better. Was extremely motivated to come in here and prove that performance, too.

“Just so proud of this Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD. Toyota, everybody, all the resources they’ve been putting into this to help turn around the road course program means a lot.

“I’m out of gas. But I feel a little bit better with Monster Energy.”

On the first overtime restart, Ryan Blaney was sent spinning in Turn 1 in front of Josh Bilicki and Erik Jones. Just a few 100 feet farther, Ryan Preece and others collided, destroying the front of Preece’s No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, leaving debris on the track that necessitated the race’s penultimate caution. A yellow flag for debris on the backstretch with four laps remaining sent the event to an initial overtime period.

Defending race winner Ross Chastain spent significant time in the top five in Sunday’s race, but a slow pit stop under caution at Lap 57 buried him mid-pack. On the ensuing restart, Austin Dillon and AJ Allmendinger spun in the middle of Turn 1, with Chastain collected while trying to avoid. Chastain rebounded for a top-five finish.

Completing the top 10 were Austin Cindric, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chris Buescher, Ty Gibbs and Todd Gilliland.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson had a short-lived return to competition on Sunday. As cars darted to avoid the spinning Brad Keselowski exiting Turn 19 on Lap 1, contact sent Ty Dillon spinning hard into Johnson’s right door. His No. 84 Legacy Motor Club team attempted to repair the damage but ran out of time via the Damaged Vehicle Policy’s seven-minute clock, ending Johnson’s day with a 38th-place finish, only ahead of Dillon.

Bubba Wallace slid hard into Turn 12, colliding with and spinning Kyle Larson. That damage left Wallace’s No. 23 Toyota with a broken oil line and ending the day in 37th place for his 23XI Racing team.

Q: Kyle Busch brings it home second today. Got that track position there. Three overtime restarts, what did you need to hold off Tyler?

KYLE BUSCH: I don’t know if we could have. Even if we were on equal tires, when we tested here, they were lights out. Had us beat on the frontside of the runs. We needed longer runs. Even today we didn’t have great long-run speed. We had great middle-run speed.

Overall, for as much effort and everything that we’ve put into coming here and focusing on this place, all the testing and everything we’ve been able to do during the off-season, come out here with a really good finish.

Tyler obviously is a really good road racer. He proved it driving this car here last year. I was able to get in it and run right back to him. I’ve been trying to emulate the things he did in order to make this car fast last year, but not quite all the way there.

They had a whale of a car. Want to thank NetSpend for being on our car, Austin, hometown partner in Austin, Texas. Excited to get them a runner-up finish.

Race Results


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