Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Tyler Reddick continues 23XI’s Kansas streak

Kansas Speedway has become a playground for 23XI Racing since they expanded to a two-car operation in 2022, with the #45 in particular sweeping both dates that year with Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace. After finishing ninth in May, Tyler Reddick is the third driver to win at the 1.5-mile oval in the #45.

Reddick restarted fifth for overtime set up after Chris Buescher suffered a blown tyre, and stalked the battle between Joey Logano and Erik Jones before completing a three-wide pass for the lead coming to the white flag. The dramatic move shot Reddick to the top while 23XI owner and May winner Denny Hamlin followed on the outside to finish second.

The win locks Reddick into the Round of 12 of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

“Last year was the heartbreaker. Two years ago, we just weren’t great, and we went into Bristol and missed it by a couple, but last year we had those wins. We come to this race a year ago and have a flat while leading and fall out very early. We went into Bristol in a bad spot and then got caught up in a wreck,” recalled Reddick.

“To be able to have a lot of points scored—I’m sure even if we didn’t win today and finished second or third, we would have had a lot of points to lean on going into Bristol, so that was just the goal all along. I want to win races, but we don’t take to take the risks in the first round. I think as we keep going along and we get further in and we don’t have the points to start that some of the cars at the very front of the leaderboard do, we’ll have to get more aggressive, but it was very nice to get five playoff points today and gain a few more as we go on to the next round.”

Hendrick Motorsports was the top team as Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott respectively led 99 and 47 laps while the former won Stage #1, but both started further back in overtime after pitting and were unable to catch up. Stage #2 winner Brad Keselowski had a similar fate as he settled for ninth.

While Reddick and Hamlin maximised their points days, 23XI and Joe Gibbs Racing team-mates Wallace and Martin Truex Jr. are left in a precarious position entering the Round of 16 finale at Bristol after suffering right rear tyre failures. Truex’s tyre went down just three laps into the race and sent him into the turn three wall; after winning the regular season championship, he is on the brink of elimination as he trails Kevin Harvick for the twelfth in the standings by seven points.

After finishing second in Stage #1, Wallace’s day went down in smoke on lap 109. While his team was able to repair the car in time to stay in the race, he ended up thre laps and and finished thirty-second. He is nineteen points below the cut line going into Bristol, where he has struggled with just one top ten in eight Cup starts.

“In hindsight, I should have just pitted, but at that point in time, you just don’t know if the car is really just tight or what’s going on,” commented Truex, “It’s a real shame.”

A day after finishing third in the Xfinity Series race, Sheldon Creed concluded his Cup début in twenty-ninth. The 2020 Truck Series champion was the thirteenth Stadium Super Trucks driver to compete in the Cup Series.

Race results

Finish Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Status
1 5 45 Tyler Reddick 23XI Racing Toyota 268 Running
2 14 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 268 Running
3 19 43 Erik Jones Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet 268 Running
4 2 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 268 Running
5 11 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 268 Running
6 4 9 Chase Elliott^ Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 268 Running
7 35 8 Kyle Busch Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 268 Running
8 1 20 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 268 Running
9 12 6 Brad Keselowski RFK Racing Ford 268 Running
10 23 48 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 268 Running
11 20 4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 268 Running
12 17 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 268 Running
13 6 1 Ross Chastain Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 268 Running
14 36 54 Ty Gibbs Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 268 Running
15 9 24 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 268 Running
16 15 99 Daniel Suárez Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 268 Running
17 25 10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 268 Running
18 28 41 Ryan Preece Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 268 Running
19 26 14 Chase Briscoe Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 268 Running
20 21 42 Carson Hocevar* Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet 268 Running
21 30 31 Justin Haley Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 268 Running
22 24 7 Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 268 Running
23 16 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 268 Running
24 27 51 Cole Custer* Rick Ware Racing Ford 268 Running
25 32 38 Todd Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 267 Running
26 7 34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 267 Running
27 13 17 Chris Buescher RFK Racing Ford 267 Running
28 33 77 Ty Dillon Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 267 Running
29 34 78 Sheldon Creed* Live Fast Motorsports Chevrolet 266 Running
30 22 16 A.J. Allmendinger Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 266 Running
31 18 2 Austin Cindric Team Penske Ford 266 Running
32 10 23 Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing Toyota 264 Running
33 8 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 259 Running
34 31 15 J.J. Yeley* Rick Ware Racing Ford 212 DVP
35 29 21 Harrison Burton Wood Brothers Racing Ford 175 DVP
36 3 19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 3 Accident
Bold – Currently in playoffs
^ – Currently in owner playoffs
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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