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Tyler Reddick Claims Maiden Cup Win at Road America

Finally.

After finishing runner up on five separate occasions, Tyler Reddick became a winner in the NASCAR Cup Series’ Kwik Trip 250 presented by Jockey: Made in America at Road America on Sunday, July 3.

Reddick’s first career win comes in his 92nd start, and will likely lock the 26-year-old Californian into the playoffs. He became the fifth different first-time winner in 2022, the most for a single season since 2011, and the 13th different winner in 18 races.

Starting from inside the top five, Reddick used the first two stages to move stealthily forward, beginning the final stage right in the tire tracks of Chase Elliott‘s dominant No. 9 car. Reddick stayed within reach of the lead throughout the final stage, and after a quick four-tire stop under green from his Richard Childress Racing team, he found his chance to strike.

With 17 laps of the four-mile course remaining, Reddick made a clean move on the exit of turn 5 to get side-by-side with Elliott. By the time they reached the Carousel, he was clear. Elliott kept him honest the final 15 laps, but Reddick was able to pull away to an emotional maiden victory.

Speaking to NBC Sports after some exuberant donuts in the turn 5 runoff area, Reddick summed up a long-awaited first win:

“What better place [to get it done] than Road America. I love the fans, I love this racetrack, being here on Fourth of July weekend is just so special. Huge shout out to 3CHI and the special paint scheme we had this weekend, love them coming on board this year and taking a chance on a young guy like me. We got it done, we won a race.”

Runner-up Elliott, who scored his own first win at a road course in 2018, told NBC’s Parker Kligerman:

First off, congrats to [Reddick], I know he’s been super close to that first win. . . I’ve been down that road and it can be a rocky one. I’m happy for those guys, they deserve it. For us, I’m proud of our NAPA team, but I didn’t do a very good job there. I just let him stay close enough to pressure me. … never could gain enough of a gap there, made a couple mistakes. … we were probably good enough to win, and those always hurt.”

Kyle Larson finished the afternoon a distant third, with the Trackhouse Racing Team duo of Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez completing the top five. Chris Buescher finished sixth, followed by rookie Austin Cindric, who claims his third consecutive top 10 with a seventh-place run. Road-course aces Michael McDowell and AJ Allmendinger followed in eighth and ninth, and Kevin Harvick ended the day a quiet 10th.

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The first two stages stayed green and went fast, with Elliott building out a massive gap on the field in a rapid No. 9. Despite reported power steering issues, Elliott was regularly several tenths faster than the second-quickest car, building a six-second gap on second-place Chase Briscoe by lap 12. Having such a massive advantage allowed crew chief Alan Gustafson to change the strategy, bringing the No. 9 in with two laps to go before pit road closed at the end of the stage. 

With Elliott and others pitting before the stage end, Briscoe inherited the lead and scored his second stage win of the season over Cindric and Alex Bowman

Stage two saw Briscoe and Cindric struggle to work their way back through the field, so even more of the leaders committed to pit road before the end of stage two. With Elliott giving up the lead for fresh tires once again, Ryan Blaney took advantage to score his fifth stage win of 2022.

The yellow flag only waved twice all afternoon, both times for the stage breaks, making this only the fourth race with no ‘natural’ cautions since stage racing began in 2017.

Reddick’s win puts additional pressure on the remaining playoff bubble drivers, including 2014 champion Kevin Harvick. Harvick is the first driver out, 20 points behind Christopher Bell in 16th with eight races remaining in the regular season.

Chase Elliott’s strong run nevertheless earned him some breathing room in the regular-season championship, as he leads Blaney by 33 points, with Chastain a further two points behind. With 13 different winners already, the regular-season championship could be Blaney’s best bet to make the postseason.

2022 Kwik Trip 250 Results

2022 Cup Series Regular-Season Points

Next Sunday, July 10, the Cup Series returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway’s high banked 1.5-mile oval for the Quaker State 400, airing 3 p.m. EST on USA Network.

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Echo

Good for Reddick, could be a well timed momentum win. He’s always had the natural talent.

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