Tyler Reddick Wins Overtime-Extended NASCAR Race at COTA

Reddick and his team chose the right strategy and dominated all day, but he had to survive a series of late restarts.

Before the final stop in today's race, Tyler Reddick took the lead despite an alternate pit strategy and seemed poised to run away with a win. NASCAR called a caution for dirt on track but off the racing line, igniting a series of restarts and new battles all again won by Reddick to end the race.

Reddick's biggest test came in the long stint immediately after that yellow, with Reddick losing the lead on the restart after what was expected to be everyone's final stop of the day. He would hunt down and pass William Byron, just before both started to save fuel for what was expected to be a tight finish for everyone in the top five. A battle was brewing, but another yellow for debris started a long cycle of double-file restarts, crashes in turn 1, and debris from the resulting crashes leading to further restarts.

In total, the day had 8 restarts. On one, Reddick took the lead after starting fifth when four drivers chose not to pit. On two more, Reddick held off the entire field on the inside heading into turn 1 and checked out as drivers wrecked behind him. NASCAR chose not to call a caution on the final restart, allowing Reddick to finally take the white flag and, eventually, the win.

It is Reddick's first win with 23XI Racing, but the fourth of his career after winning three with Richard Childress Racing last season. It puts him in position for his second consecutive playoff appearance, the second straight for the No. 45 team at 23XI Racing. Notably, although the team has won three other times, Kurt Busch's injury last season and the timing of Bubba Wallace's two wins combine to mean that no driver has competed for the team in the playoffs for that championship. With this win, Reddick should change that this season.

Of the three notable one-off drivers in this race, Jordan Taylor led the charge for most of the day in the back half of the top ten before falling to 24th on the final restart. Jenson Button climbed to 18th after surviving all of the day's calamitous restarts, while Kimi Raikkonen would finish 29th after being involved in a lot of contact during one of the overtime restarts.

The NASCAR Cup Series continues at Richmond Raceway next weekend. The series now has five unique winners through six races.

Fred Smith