Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Tyler Reddick Goes from Fifth to First in Overtime to Win Playoff Race at Kansas

Tyler Reddick drove from fifth-place to the lead on a NASCAR Overtime restart to capture the victory in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Photo Credit: David Rosenblum, LAT Images, Courtesy of Toyota Racing

After coming up one position short of a victory in last weekend’s playoff opener at Darlington Raceway, Tyler Reddick didn’t have to wait long to punch his ticket into the next round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

With his victory in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, Reddick secured his fifth career victory in the NASCAR Cup Series, and guaranteed that he’d advance out of the first round of the post-season, for the first time in three prior appearances.

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“Just an outstanding job by this whole 23XI team,” Reddick explained. “We had really good pace, but just couldn’t get ahead of Denny there, but chaos ensued, people stayed out, some took two tires, and the bottom lane opened up. Pretty crazy.”

The final caution of the event, which came as a result of Chris Buescher blowing a right-rear tire with five laps to go, prevented the 27-year-old driver from settling for another runner-up finish, when several different strategies erupted.

Reddick and crew chief Billy Scott would elect to take four tires, which left the No. 45 Toyota Camry sitting in fifth in NASCAR Overtime – behind Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch, all of whom either stayed out or took two tires.

With Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson – the two drivers to lead the most laps on the afternoon – just behind him, it was crucial for Reddick to get a fantastic restart, something that the 23XI Racing driver succeeded in doing, while Hamlin and Larson struggled behind.

Not having to worry about the cars behind, Reddick made quick work of the four tires on an alternate strategy, dropping down to the apron at the start-finish line to make a three-wide pass on Jones and Logano, which netted him the lead.

After another circuit around the 1.5-mile facility, Reddick was home-free, with a 0.327-second advantage over 23XI Racing team owner Denny Hamlin to score the victory in Sunday’s event.

“Four fresh tires and sitting in there and slide up,” Reddick said after the race. “Just hats off, like I said, to everybody at 23XI. This Toyota Camry TRD had a lot of pace, and we’ve had really fast cars with this Money Alliance scheme, and it’s really great to get it back to Victory Lane.”

Hamlin, who led 62 of the race’s final 80 laps, came home in the runner-up position, after having what looked like the car to beat for the second straight race. Erik Jones, who took two tires on the final pit stop, held on to third place.

Kyle Larson came home in fourth place, after leading a race-high 99 laps, but could never really recover from staying out on old tires during the mid-way portion of the event, which saw the No. 5 Chevrolet plummet to outside the top-20.

Joey Logano also made his last-ditch strategy work, coming home with another top-five finish, putting him in a much better position heading to the cutoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday.

Chase Elliott finished in sixth place, while Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, Brad Keselowski, and Alex Bowman completed the top-10. Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, and Ross Chastain – all playoff-eligible drivers – finished 11th through 13th.

William Byron, who entered the post-season tied with Martin Truex, Jr. with the most NASCAR Playoff Points, struggled to return to the front of the pack, after spinning during the race’s first stage. The No. 24 Chevrolet finished in 15th.

Martin Truex, Jr. and Bubba Wallace also looked to have strong runs at Kansas Speedway on Sunday but were relegated to poor finishes due to flat right-rear tires that caused incidents.

Truex was out of the race after just three laps, after crashing from what Goodyear later referred to as a puncture. Meanwhile, Wallace, who was running inside the top-five, blew a right-rear tire and smacked the outside wall.

Wallace would finish 32nd, four laps off the pace, while Truex would be forced to retire from the race, finishing in 36th. Heading to Bristol, both drivers remain below the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff cutline.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Michael McDowell will join Wallace and Truex below the cutline, not because of any on-track incidents, but rather just poor finishes, after Stenhouse came home 23rd, and McDowell in 26th.

Heading to Bristol, for the final race of the ‘Round of 16’, Larson and Reddick have already looked spots into the next round, while drivers hovering around the cutline like Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Martin Truex, Jr., and Bubba Wallace look to put up a good run and advance, as well.

Race Results: Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway

Race Results: NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigley
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at

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