Tyler Reddick Outduels Chase Elliott for First Cup Series Win

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Photo credit: Sean Gardner - Getty Images
Photo credit: Sean Gardner - Getty Images

Tyler Reddick's first runner-up finish in the NASCAR Cup Series came halfway through his rookie season. Over the next two years, he would repeat the feat four times. In one of those races, he was leading on the final lap when Chase Briscoe badly over-ran a corner to wreck both he and Reddick. When his just-earned lead at Road America was cut down to just a second with 15 laps to go and NASCAR road course ace Chase Elliott behind him, he looked destined for another near miss.

Then, he simply pulled away.

Reddick's ability to hold off Elliott seems particularly poetic. Chase Elliott finished second eight times before his first win, then one day strung together an undeniably dominant performance at Watkins Glen to grab his first victory. Elliott won two more times that season. Two years later, he was a series champion. Those are lofty comparisons for a driver that had gone winless for so long, but Reddick's many strong performances with Richard Childress Racing suggest that he has a lot more high-level Cup Series racing to do.

Behind Reddick, it was a strange day for manufacturer balance. He and Elliott led a Chevrolet 1-2-3-4-5, ahead of Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, and Daniel Suarez. The top Toyota finished 13th. The next-best Toyotas finished 17th and 18th. While no manufacturer has had a clear upper hand all season, the return to struggles are concerning for a Toyota program that notably lagged behind both Chevrolet and Ford in the early season.

Reddick's win also means that 13 drivers are now qualified for the 16 spots in the Cup Series playoffs on race wins, leaving just three spots for drivers on points. Three further new wins could knock those drivers out entirely, while a fourth would knock a race winner out, too. This is bad news for Ryan Blaney, who has been in the mix all year in fourth in the championship but has yet to take a race win. He's 31 points behind the championship leader, however, and could still force a race winner out of the field as a winless driver if he can claim the regular season points lead before the playoffs start months from now.

NASCAR's marathon Cup Series schedule continues with an afternoon race at the newly-reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend. That track is now a miniature super speedway, designed to create a sort of one-lane pack racing on a significantly smaller and more narrow track than either Daytona or Talladega.

You Might Also Like