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Tyler Reddick Clears Surrounding Chaos for GEICO 500 Victory

The 23XI Racing driver scored his sixth NASCAR Cup Series win on Sunday, and his first on a superspeedway at NASCAR's top level.


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Needless to say, the first of two annual trips to Talladega Superspeedway for the NASCAR Cup Series provided a significant amount of carnage, and similar to the Fall 2012 event at the racetrack, most of it waited until the final lap.

Tyler Reddick, who along with polesitter Michael McDowell maintained control of Sunday’s GEICO 500 for the final 30 laps, walked away with the victory at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, despite barely holding onto a top-five spot when the field exited Turn 4 for the final time.

But, it was a wild sequence of events in the race’s final seconds that ended up being the catalyst for the 23XI Racing driver earning his sixth career win in the NASCAR Cup Series, with team co-owner Michael Jordan in attendance, and his brand on the racecar.

Using a push from Ford teammate Brad Keselowski, McDowell managed to get clear of the outside line, led by Tyler Reddick, down the backstretch, leaving the two drivers to battle things out exiting the final set of corners and through the tri-oval.

Keselowski, still searching for his first victory as a NASCAR Cup Series owner-driver, made his move to the outside entering the tri-oval, which McDowell successfully blocked. But, it was the second move by the driver No. 6 Ford Mustang that caused the issue, when an aggressive block sent the Front Row Motorsports driver careening into the outside wall.

Several other drivers were collected in that accident, including Corey LaJoie and Josh Berry, who each spent time with less than four tires planted safely on the racetrack, but the loss of momentum for Keselowski allowed Reddick to swing outside and make the pass.

“Man, it’s incredible, everyone on this No. 45 Jordan Brand Toyota Camry worked really hard today, didn’t really work out in that third stage for us, but we were able to fight and defend our track position,” Reddick said after the race.

“Gotta give a lot of credit to Ty Gibbs and Martin Truex, it was just us Toyotas left, and they pushed me with everything they had, so huge credit to Martin and Ty, without those pushes we don’t win this race.”

It’s the first victory of the season for Tyler Reddick, and the third different winner from the Toyota Racing Development stables — joining Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell. Sunday’s win also marks the sixth victory for 23XI Racing, the last three of which have come at the hands of the Corning, California native.

For the second consecutive weekend, Brad Keselowski recorded a runner-up finish for RFK Racing, his fourth since coming on as co-owner of the organization. Noah Gragson was right behind him, capturing a career-best third-place result in the No. 10 for Stewart-Haas Racing.

After an uncharacteristically quiet afternoon on a superspeedway, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. managed to record a fourth-place run for JTG Daugherty Racing, while Alex Bowman rounded out the top five for Hendrick Motorsports.

Anthony Alfredo recorded a career-best sixth-place finish in the No. 62 Chevrolet for Beard Motorsports, the organization’s sixth top-10 finish in 28 NASCAR Cup Series starts — and the team’s second-best result, just one spot behind Noah Gragson’s top-five at Daytona in 2022.

Daytona 500 winner William Byron managed to finish in seventh place, while Todd Gilliland, Daniel Hemric, and Harrison Burton rounded out the top-10, each scoring their first top-10 results of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series campaign.

In true Talladega fashion, Sunday’s race showcased lots of three-wide racing — some while drivers saved fuel, and some while drivers raced hard at the end of stages and the race. Despite the intense racing, only four cautions flew in the 188-lap race, matching the amount from last Fall.

However, Sunday’s GEICO 500 featured an incredible 72 lead changes, the most in the NASCAR Cup Series since 2011. Of the 38 drivers who entered Sunday’s race, 23 took a turn at the front of the pack, including several feel-good stories like BJ McLeod and Justin Haley.

The biggest wreck of the afternoon, despite the final lap carnage, came with less than 40 laps remaining in the race, when a pack of six Toyotas got stacked up entering turn three, tipping Erik Jones head-on into the outside wall. Jones was okay, albeit a bit sore.

Leaving Talladega, Kyle Larson maintains the points lead in the NASCAR Cup Series with a 15-point margin over Martin Truex, Jr. Chase Elliott, William Byron, and now Tyler Reddick complete the top-five in series point standings heading to the 11th race of 2024 at Dover Motor Speedway.

Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade, LAT Images, Courtesy of Toyota

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