Baltimore Sun

Reddick stays hot with win at Indy

- By Jenna Fryer

INDIANAPOL­IS — Tyler Reddick this month already grabbed his first Cup career victory, qualified for NASCAR’s playoffs and signed a big contract with a new team.

Now he’s got a victory at Indianapol­is Motor Speedway. Reddick closed the best month of his career with an overtime win Sunday on the road course at Indy to give him two victories in the last five Cup races.

“We just know what we’re capable of, and we did that at Road America,” Reddick said. “If we change nothing, we keep working really, really hard, we find a way to victory lane. Really glad to be able to do it here in Indianapol­is.

“This is one really special place to race, and really excited to kiss the bricks.”

Reddick broke through for his first career victory on July 3 at Road America in Wisconsin, then announced nine days later he was leaving Richard Childress Racing in 2024 to drive for 23XI, the team owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.

Win No. 2 seemed to be easily within reach as Reddick was comfortabl­y out front for 15 late laps when debris from Christophe­r Bell’s car brought out the fourth caution of the race with only six to go.

It set up a restart with three laps remaining and Reddick lined up alongside road course ace Chase Elliott, who briefly got past Reddick for the lead until he was spun for another caution that sent the race into overtime.

Reddick on the next restart had to hold off defending race winner AJ Allmending­er, who also won Saturday in the Xfinity Series. But Allmending­er was physically exhausted and struggling because his cooling device had not worked the entire race, and he hardly challenged Reddick at all.

Allmending­er collapsed when he climbed from his car. His wife and team personnel were seen draping his head in wet towels and dumping water over him before Allmending­er was taken to the care center.

So it was Ross Chastain who made Reddick claw his way to the Yard of Bricks.

Chastain missed the first turn completely and used the access road to return to the racing course ahead of Reddick and the apparent new leader. Reddick chased him for an entire lap around the 2.439-mile course and finally reclaimed the lead in time to lead the entire final lap.

“I couldn’t believe he got ahead of me,” Reddick 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. 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 (angry).”

NASCAR after the race penalized Chastain for using the access road, which dropped him to 27th.

“I thought we were four-wide and couldn’t go any farther right,” said Chastain, “and decided to take the NASCAR access lane out there.”

Reddick’s win made him the first RCR driver since Kevin Harvick in 2013 to win multiple races in a season, and multiple victories for RCR in a season for the first time since 2017.

It was RCR’s fourth win at Indianapol­is as Reddick joined Dale Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard as Indy winners for Richard Childress. The previous three wins were on the Brickyard’s oval.

But Childress still seemed chapped by Reddick’s early decision to leave in 18 months, specifical­ly citing his cordial split with Harvick at the end of the 2013 season.

“Well, Kevin and I talked through his whole deal and we made a joint announceme­nt. He won four races that year, and we almost won the championsh­ip,” Childress said. “This one didn’t happen like that.”

But the owner said he’d still celebrate with Reddick and his sponsors, and he later was alongside Reddick for the customary celebratio­n of kissing the yard of bricks.

“I’ll congratula­te him. I’ll congratula­te the whole team,” Childress said. “The whole team did a great job. I’ll congratula­te our sponsors.”

 ?? JAMES GILBERT/GETTY ?? Tyler Reddick celebrates with a burnout after winning the Verizon 200 on Sunday at Indianapol­is Motor Speedway in Indianapol­is, Indiana.
JAMES GILBERT/GETTY Tyler Reddick celebrates with a burnout after winning the Verizon 200 on Sunday at Indianapol­is Motor Speedway in Indianapol­is, Indiana.

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