Reddick dominates Indy, wins in OT

Tyler Reddick Indianapolis
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Even with the late restarts, Tyler Reddick had Indianapolis in check to win the Verizon 200.

INDIANAPOLIS – Nine-tenths of a second.

Tyler Reddick needed ninth-tenths of a second less fuel than Christopher Bell, when both pitted on Lap 52, to cycle ahead at Indianapolis. Even two late restarts didn’t throw a wrench into Reddick’s drive, as he out-dueled Ross Chastain to win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“Just really glad to be able to do it here in Indianapolis,” he said. “This is one really special place to race, and really excited to kiss the bricks here in a little bit and really excited we got 3CHI their win in their hometown.”

It’s both his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory and second of the season. Moreover, it’s his first victory since his announcement of defecting to 23XI Racing in 2024.

“Well, we just know what we’re capable of, and we did that at Road America,” he said. “Certainly it was a little bump in the road, but we went out and won a race fair and square a couple weeks ago and if we change nothing, we keep working really, really hard, we find a way back to Victory Lane.

He was surprised to see Chastain up next to him after he overshot Turn 1, but he prepared for that scenario.

“I couldn’t believe he got ahead of me,” he said. “I was kind of waiting to see if he was going to have a penalty because I didn’t want to move him out of the way and make his race worse than what 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 end up working out because I’d have been pretty pissed off.”

The top-10 finishers

The podium

Chastain’s Turn 1 overshoot earned him a 30-second time penalty. Which bumped Austin Cindric and Harrison Burton to a podium finish.

It’s easy on paper, right? Oh, my gosh, I feel like we probably deserved 10th at best today,” Cindric said. “There was a few things I was good at but I needed the whole track to do it and I kind of struggled a bit, probably a little lower than my expectations were today, but those restarts, survival, holy crap. All I can say is “wow.” There’s no other sport, no other form of racing other than NASCAR that you’re going to get that.”

“Yeah, we’ll take it,” Burton said. “Wouldn’t have picked this weekend to get my best career finish so far. Just a lot of aggression on the last restarts and putting myself in good positions. At the end of the day, it was — honestly we weren’t doing our job at the start of the race. We kind of didn’t execute well. I made a mistake, spun out, got into Custer there. Was kind of pretty upset midway through the race, and then just got our heads down, came in, got tires and started picking guys off and restarted in a good spot to kind of go get some more. It’s just exciting.

The top-five

Todd Gilliland earned his career-best finish with a fourth and Bubba Wallace overcame yet another loose wheel to round out the top-five.

The top-10

Joey Logano came home sixth, just before his car caught fire. AJ Allmendinger finished seventh, but went to the care center after he climbed out of his car and leaned against the pit road wall.

Michael McDowell, Cole Custer and Chris Buescher (who’s care was on fire early in the race) rounded out the top-10.

Tyler Reddick dominates, survives late restarts to win at Indianapolis

Race summary

Tyler Reddick Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS – JULY 31: Tyler Reddick, driver of the #8 3CHI Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31, 2022, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Reddick led the field to green at 3:06 p.m. As the field made its way through Turn 1, Justin Haley spun or got turned. The next lap, Denny Hamlin ran through the grass exiting Turn 6. He got loose and spun on Hullman Boulevard. On Lap 3, he ran Aric Almirola into the grass in Turn 2. Two laps later, Hamlin overshot Turn 1 and took the penalty route in Oval Turn 4 to rejoin the race.

Yeah, this happened a lot in Stage 1, including Brad Keselowski’s excursion off track in Turn 1 and Chastain’s lock up and hit on Joey Hand in Turn 1 the next lap.

Several cars gave up stage points to short-pit the first stage. Among them Reddick, who pitted from the lead on Lap 13. Chase Briscoe stayed out to win the first stage.

Ryan Blaney stayed out to take the lead.

Back to green on Lap 20, Kevin Harvick spun in Turn 1 and Hamlin hit him. Aside from Almirola run-in with Kyle Larson, Stage 2 was slightly less chaotic.

Blaney pitted from the lead on Lap 33. Christopher Bell cycled to the front and won the second stage.

The race settled into a rhythm for the final stage. Until Larson lost his brakes and pounded Ty Dillon in Turn 1 with 20 laps to go.

This set up the run to the finish.

What else happened

Chris Buescher’s car caught fire when he made his first stop on Lap 13.

An Air Force trailer lodged itself in one of the low-clearance vehicle tunnels.

Daniel Kvyat, ex-Formula 1 driver who made his NASCAR debut, Sunday, overshot Turn 1 and stalled in Oval Turn 4. The race stayed green and he fell six laps down, before a safety truck retrieved him.

Larson lost his brakes and plowed into Ty Dillon in Turn 1 with 20 laps to go.

Playoff picture

With four races left in the regular season, two spots remain up for grabs for first time winners. Harvick’s late-race incident with Alex Bowman and 33rd-place finish pushed him a race and a half (-96) behind the cutoff. He’s not in must-win territory, yet, but he’s inching closer to it.

Almirola (-156) and Erik Jones (-175) are mathematically able to race in on points, but need a bunch of help to do so.

Everyone else must win to make the playoffs.

Tyler Reddick dominates, survives late restarts to win at Indianapolis

Nuts and bolts

INDIANAPOLIS – JULY 31: Tyler Reddick, driver of the #8 3CHI Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 31, 2022, in Indianapolis. Photo: Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The race lasted two hours, 40 minutes and 18 seconds, at an average speed of 78.511 mph. There were nine lead changes among seven different drivers, and five cautions for 15 laps.

Elliott leaves with a 125-point lead over Blaney.

TOP IMAGE: James Gilbert/Getty Images