Tyler Reddick edges out Chase Elliott for the win at Road America

from Bob Pokras
FOX Sports NASCAR Writer

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. — Tyler Reddick had completed 322 career Cup laps before Sunday and had finished in the top 10 in 32 of his 91 career starts.

At some point he was going to win.

And that point came Sunday at Road America.

Reddick passed Chase Elliott – one of the top drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series at road tracks, with seven career wins at those tracks – and led the final 16 laps to take the Kwik Trip 250.

“We did it,” Reddick said. “We won a race.”

Tyler Reddick scores first career NASCAR Cup Series win

Tyler Reddick scores first career NASCAR Cup Series win

Tyler Reddick recorded his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory Sunday at Road America.

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The win was the first for Richard Childress Racing in 72 starts and the first for Reddick crew chief Randall Burnett.

“I knew the Cup Series was tough, but it really shattered my expectations of how hard I would have to work,” said Reddick, a two-time Xfinity Series champion.

Here are three takeaways from a strange race where the only cautions came at stage breaks while the drivers played well with each other throughout the day:

Redick finally shuts it down

Redick came close to winning; he had five runner-up finishes in his career, including two this year. He appeared to be headed for a win in April at the Bristol Dirt race, where Chase Briscoe took a big risk to make a winning move and ended up wrecking Reddick (and himself).

“I’m not obsessed [over those finishes]” Redick said. “I go back and look at it, and I realize there are things I could have done differently.”

Quick thoughts after Road America

Quick thoughts after Road America

Tyler Reddick got the win he was so close to. Bob Pokras looks at what this win means to him and if he can have 17 regular season winners.

Not only did he get a win on Sunday, but Reddick also won on a road course, and road courses are where he struggled early in his career. In the beginning, he never thought he would win a road race.

“Five years ago I would have laughed and walked away because there’s no way in the world that’s going to happen,” he said. “I was just terrible at it.”

The playoff spots are in flux

With the win, Reddick went from 52 points below the playoff mark to the playoffs with an automatic berth.

Now with 13 winners, there are only three points playoff spots available, with eight races remaining in the regular season.

Sunday’s win pushed Kevin Harvick out of the playoffs to 20 points out, with Christopher Bell now the final driver to go in the points. Ryan Blaney (114 points ahead of Harvick) and Martin Truex Jr. (plus-61) are the winless drivers who are also currently “on” — but another out-of-bounds winner could upset them.

“It’s a huge sense of relief,” Reddick said. “We’ve tried to get the job done in a number of spots this year, and we’ve let one or two things happen to knock us out of it.

“Today was finally the day I’ve been hoping for all year, just to have a race without mistakes and see how it shakes out. We did that today and we’re in the win because of it.”

The disappointment for Elliott

Chase Elliott was disappointed that Reddick was able to pass him after Elliott dominated the race. Once Redick was in the clear, Elliott occasionally closed the gap, but never got close enough to be a true threat.

“I didn’t do a very good job there,” Reddick said. “I just let him stay close enough to squeeze me in there while we had decent tires and we could never get enough distance. [I] made a few mistakes.

“I built up a gap there a few times and made a few mistakes and let him get back close enough to throw me out of sync and then I just started to fight.”

Elliott led 36 of 62 laps.

Bob Pokras has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports in 2019 after stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass. Looking for more NASCAR content? Sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR with Bob Pokras newsletter!


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