Tyler Reddick scores overtime win at Indianapolis Road Course
SPEEDWAY, Ind. – The NASCAR Cup Series has a new conqueror on the road course.
Tyler Reddick survived a frenzied overtime battle against Ross Chastain – who was ultimately penalized for missing the first corner – to win Sunday’s Verizon 200 at The Brickyard.
Reddick’s NASCAR Cup Series victory at the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway was his second this month, the second of his career and his second at a road course.
MORE: Unofficial results | Photos on the track
There was a fundamental difference between Reddick’s victory at The Brickyard and his victory on July 3 at Road America. Between the two triumphs, Reddick announced he would be leaving Richard Childress Racing for 23XI Racing after the 2023 season.
But Reddick proved on Sunday that lame ducks can still go fast.
“Well, we just know what we’re capable of, and we did it at Road America,” said Reddick, who led a record 38-lap race on Sunday. “Granted, (the announcement) was a little bump in the road, but we went out and won a fair and a race spot a few weeks ago, and if we don’t change anything, we’re still working really, really hard, we find a way back to Victory Lane.
“I’m really happy to be able to do it here in Indianapolis. It’s a really special place to race, and really excited to embrace the bricks here in a moment and really excited to have (sponsored) 3CHI their victory in their city native.
After a multicar scrum in Turn 1 sent the race into extra time and dashed the hopes of Chase Elliott, who had started second alongside Reddick on lap 80, Reddick lined up alongside AJ Allmendinger for the restart extensions.
Lined up fifth on lap 85, Chastain veered wide on the restart and opted for the access road beyond the corner. He returned to the track after trading the lead with Reddick throughout the first round of overtime.
Reddick was shocked to see Chastain’s unorthodox strategy.
“I was like, ‘Uh-oh,'” Reddick said. “But that was a scenario we talked about. If you get stuck, what do you do? Take the access road. I couldn’t believe he got ahead of me. I was expecting a bit of see if he was going to get a penalty, because I didn’t want to rule him out and make his race worse than it was.
“Yeah, I was really surprised by that, but, hey, we made it work. Hats off to Ross for trying to do that, but really glad it didn’t work, because I would have been quite upset.
NASCAR disapproved of Chastain’s trick and issued a 30-second penalty that dropped him to 27th at the finish, lifting Daytona 500 winner Austin Cindric to second place.
“I just try not to be in chaos in Turn 1,” Chastain said. “I thought we were four wide and couldn’t go any further to the right, and decided to take the NASCAR driveway there.
“Just a pure reaction there, for our Chevy Worldwide Express. I took it in practice on the exit, passing Turn 1. … Yeah, just wanted to not get hit, and I merged where I merged.
Harrison Burton came third, followed by Todd Gilliland and Bubba Wallace. The results were career highs for Burton and Gilliland, and along with Cindric, it was the first time since 1994 at Pocono that three rookies had finished in the top five of a Cup race.
(The three Pocono recruits were Joe Nemechek and Jeff Burton and Ward Burton, Harrison Burton’s father and uncle, respectively.)
Despite a slew of spins, the first warning for a crash in Sunday’s race didn’t come until lap 62, and it set the stage for the chaos that followed.
After green-flag pit stops, Reddick had taken a more than three-second lead over Christopher Bell when Kyle Larson’s Chevrolet spun out of control at Turn 1 and blinded Ty Dillon’s Chevy with a heart-rending impact.
The resulting warning tightened the pack and set up a restart on Lap 65 with Reddick leading and Bell alongside him in the outside lane and Ryan Blaney trailing in third.
The outside lane on that restart and the two that followed proved to be anathema to the second-placed drivers. Bell was pushed back on the restart on lap 65 and eventually caused the fourth caution with a blown right front tire that spread debris across the track.
Elliott, who was trailing Reddick before that yellow, spun into a three-wide sandwich into Turn 1 with Blaney and William Byron on the restart of Lap 80. And defending winner AJ Allmendinger, who had driven his No. 16 Chevrolet at the second place despite a faulty cool suit, was forced into overtime and dropped to seventh place at the finish.
Blaney was also a victim of the final restart, turning into Turn 1 and finishing 26th after spending the majority of the afternoon in the top five and leading 17 laps, tied for second with Bell. This accident cost Blaney a chance to put more distance in the standings between him and Martin Truex Jr.
Blaney and Truex are 15th and 16th respectively in the playoff standings with four races to go in the regular season. After Sunday’s race, Blaney leads Truex by 25 points.
NOTE: Post-race inspection completed without any issues, confirming Tyler Reddick as the winner of Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.