Tyler Reddick works OT in Texas, gets first win of season
Reddick recorded his fourth career victory -- three coming on road courses.
Tyler Reddick's road-racing prowess grew even bigger in Texas on Sunday afternoon.
Reddick passed William Byron with five laps to go, withstood a charge by Kyle Busch in three NASCAR overtimes and won the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix road course race in Austin.
After passing Byron's No. 24 Chevrolet in Turn 11 with five circuits remaining, Reddick's No. 45 Toyota led the field and beat Busch's No. 8 Chevy in three green-white-checker finishes for his first victory this season.
In winning the Cup Series' third annual event at the 3.41-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas, Reddick recorded his fourth career victory -- three coming on road courses (Road America, Indianapolis Road Course).
"This means the world. This whole 23XI team has been working so long, all winter long, to make the road-course program better. I'm out of gas," a visibly exhausted Reddick said.
Busch came in second. He was followed by Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain and Byron to complete the top five.
In his first season at Richard Childress Racing, Busch is competing in the car driven by Reddick in 2022.
"I don't know that we could have (passed), even on equal tires," said Busch, who scored his second top-five finish so far. "When we tested here, they were lights out. They had us beat on the front side of runs. We needed longer runs.
"But even today, for some reason, we didn't have great long-run speed. ... Tyler's obviously a really good road racer. He proved it driving this car (Busch's No. 8) here last year."
Sports car specialist Jordan Taylor started the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy in place of an injured Chase Elliott and finished 24th.
Former Formula 1 champions Jenson Button (18th place) and Kimi Raikkonen (29th) made their season debuts.
In his 400th career start, A.J. Allmendinger brought his No. 16 Chevy home in 34th. Road racer Conor Daly finished 36th.
By earning his ninth career top qualifying spot, Hendrick Motorsports' Byron paced the 39-car field to the start of the 68-lap race, which was debuting the use of NASCAR's new low-downforce package on a road course.
After an incident on Lap 11 involving Bubba Wallace, Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin, Byron took the lead during the race's first caution period.
With NASCAR's new road-racing rule of not having cautions at its stages, Byron restarted at the point and earned the first segment's bonus points -- his fourth stage win thus far -- as the race restarted.
Reddick put his Camry back on the point as pit service cycled around and won Stage 2 by nearly eight seconds over Austin Dillon.
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