Tyler Reddick wins COTA after triple-overtime finish | NASCAR (Local News Tips & Reviews)

Reddick was the driver to beat for most of the day and held on through three overtime attempts.

AUSTIN, Texas — It took a trio of overtime restarts for Tyler Reddick to win the endurance race at the Circuit of the Americas in NASCAR‘s first trip to a road course in 2023.

Reddick dominated the second half of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix by leading a race-high 41 laps and holding off various drivers trying to steal the win on the last restart. The race went from a fuel mileage event to a calamitous wreckfest in the waning laps. 

Kyle Busch and Alex Bowman did their best to overtake Reddick on the final of the three overtime restarts, but the No. 45 was not going to be denied the win. It’s Reddick’s first win with 23XI Racing, which he joined this year.

“It means the world [to win]. This whole 23XI Racing team has been working so hard all year long,” Reddick said to the media after the win.

Most of the first stage was run under caution for various incidents. William Byron led the field to green and it took only one lap before the first caution came out. Chris Buescher spun and collected Jimmie Johnson, Ty Dillon, and Brad Keselowski. The crash ended Johnson and Dillon’s days.

Byron continued to lead after the restart and just five laps later another caution came out after Bubba Wallace suffered a mechanical issue that caused Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin to make contact that brought out the caution.

The race stayed under caution until the conclusion of the first stage, with the green flag waving as stage two began.

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Byron continued to lead until he made his first pit stop along with many of the front-running cars. The move gave Reddick the lead and the stage win. Reddick first went to pit road about 10 laps earlier, placing him and others on a different strategy.

But instead of sticking to that strategy, Reddick’s team called an audible to keep him in line with the lead pack and he was running in the top five around halfway through the race. 

Reddick quickly became the class of the field and took over the lead with around 30 laps remaining. By this point, Reddick, Byron, Ross Chastain, Alex Bowman, and Daniel Suárez became the top contenders for the win.

A debris caution came out on lap 41, setting up what seemed to be the final pit stop of the race. Reddick prevailed as the leader less than a lap after the restart, despite three cars staying off of pit road.

As the laps counted down, teams began letting their drivers know that they were short on fuel. Most drivers were about one or two laps short but saving fuel at the 3.4-mile track is a tough task when trying to defend positions. Only Chastain and Suárez in the top group were cleared by their teams to not stop for fuel.

But just as the Trackhouse Racing teammates were set to take the top two spots, a caution came out for Keselowski stalling on the track.

All of the leaders pit but a handful of drivers stayed out and shuffled the running order. Most notably, Kyle Busch jumped to second by staying out, and former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen found himself in 4th for the restart with nine laps to go.

Despite being trapped in 8th, Reddick jumped back to the lead in less than a lap. As that was going on, Chastain was wrecked and stalled on the track, causing another caution.

Another restart was shortlived after Austin Dillon spun out and left debris on the track, causing the first overtime attempt.

The first overtime restart resulted in a wreck in turn one that left Ryan Blaney and Ryan Preece with major damage that brought out another caution.

Overtime attempt number two saw Reddick once again jump out in front as Suárez was wrecked and forced into Martin Truex Jr. The damage caused Suárez’s tire to blow and fall off the car, prompting another caution.

Reddick prevailed once again in the third overtime, despite heavy pressure from Busch and Alex Bowman. Cars crashed once again on the restart but did not suffer damage significant enough to force another caution as Reddick sailed on for the win.

It’s the fourth win of Reddick’s career and his third win on a road course. Reddick won at Road America and the Indianapolis Road Course in 2022.

Busch, Bowman, Chastain, and Byron finished in the top five. Jenson Button, former Formula One champion, finished 18th, Raikkonen finished 27th, former SportsCar champion Jordan Taylor finished 24th, and Conor Daly finished 36th.

NASCAR’s next race is at Richmond Raceway on Sunday, April 2. Denny Hamlin is the defending race winner.

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