Tyler Reddick beat NASCAR’s top road racer at Road America for his first Cup win

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Tyler Reddick didn’t just earn his first NASCAR Cup win on Sunday. He made a statement.

In the final stage of a race Chase Elliott had dominated – and won a year earlier – Reddick chased down the Road America polesitter, pounced on a rare Elliott mistake and then drove to the finish to win the Kwik Trip 250 that introduced JOCKEY Made in America.

The 26-year-old Californian, who cut his teeth in open-wheel, short-course racing, finished 3.304 seconds ahead of Elliott, the 2020 Cup Series champion and the most successful street racer in modern NASCAR.

“I thought he was going to push me back,” Reddick said in his televised interview with the USA Network. “I started making some mistakes (and then) I started taking care of the brakes. Obviously he didn’t need to. Yep, pretty good condition there. What a day.”

Reddick became the fifth series winner for the first time this season and the 13th driver to win in 18 races. It also pushed the streak in NASCAR’s top two classes without a repeat winner to 16.

A two-time champion and 10-time winner in the Xfinity Series, Reddick needed 92 starts to record his first Cup victory in his third full season with Richard Childress Racing. He had finished second six times.

Reddick’s best finish in three Xfinity starts at Road America was third in 2019. He finished eighth last year in the return of NASCAR’s premier class after 65 years.

Tyler Reddick celebrates with his team after winning the KWIK TRIP 250 Sunday at Road America.

Tyler Reddick celebrates with his team after winning the KWIK TRIP 250 Sunday at Road America.

Elliott dominated the first two-thirds of the race from pole and led 36 of the 62 laps, leaving the lead only in the pit stop circles. But after he and Reddick left the pits with 19 laps to go for the 62-lap race, Reddick was as close as it got.

When Elliott missed Turn 5 three laps later, Reddick surged to the inside. They stayed side by side in Turn 6, another left-hander, when Reddick cleared.

It took several laps for others to make their final scheduled pit stop, but Reddick took the lead from Harrison Burton on lap 47, just before Burton pitted.

“I definitely knew he was fast, but we could stay with him in the long run, which told me if we were to cycle through the last pit sequence, be close or get around him, we’d have a great shot.” Reddick said. “I didn’t shoot him at all. We were within walking distance. Fortunately, I waited for the right opportunity and was able to take advantage of it at Turn 6.”

Elliott – who has scored seven of his 15 Cup victories on the road – shadowed Reddick for 10 laps, but then drifted back.

Kyle Larson finished third, 21 seconds back, followed by Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez as Chevrolet swept the top five. Chastain and Suarez are also among the first-time winners this season.

The Kwik Trip 250 is presented by JOCKEY Made in America Results

Sunday at the 4.05-mile road course at Road America (start position in parentheses):

1. (4) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 62 laps, 41 points.

2. (1) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 62, 38.

3. (3) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 62, 34.

4. (12) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 62, 33.

5. (17) Daniel Suárez, Chevrolet, 62, 32.

6. (7) Chris Buescher, Ford, 62, 31.

7. (5) Austin Sidric, Ford, 62, 39.

8. (6) Michael McDowell, Ford, 62, 29.

9. (21) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 62, 0.

10. (28) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 62, 27.

11. (19) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 62, 36.

12. (8) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 62, 33.

13. (15) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 62, 24.

14. (2) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 62, 33.

15. (10) Cole Custer, Ford, 62, 22.

16. (29) William Byron, Chevrolet, 62, 21.

17. (14) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 62, 20.

18. (16) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 62, 19.

19. (33) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chevrolet, 62, 18.

20. (30) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 62, 25.

21. (9) Joey Hand, Ford, 62, 25.

22. (23) Harrison Burton, Ford, 62, 24.

23. (22) Kurt Busch, Toyota, 62, 27.

24. (34) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 62, 20.

25. (32) Todd Gilliland, Ford, 62, 12.

26. (27) Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 62, 20.

27. (18) Joey Logano, Ford, 62, 17.

28. (24) Aric Almirola, Ford, 62, 9.

29. (13) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 62, 8.

30. (37) Kyle Tilley, Ford, 61, 7.

31. (20) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, brakes, 60, 6.

32. (31) Cody Ware, Ford, 59, 5.

33. (11) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 58, 4.

34. (35) Corey Lajoie, Chevrolet, 57, 3.

35. (25) Bubba Wallace, Toyota, brakes, 54, 9.

36. (26) Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, 52, 0.

37. (36) Loris Hezemans, Ford, fuel pump, 9, 0.

––– Match statistics

Race Average Speed ​​Winner: 96.627 mph.

Match time: 2 hours, 35 minutes, 51 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 3,304 seconds.

Caution flags: 2 for 2 rounds.

Lead Changes: 8 among 6 drivers.

Round Leaders: C.Elliott 0-12; C.Briscoe 13-16; C.Elliott 17-28; R. Blaney 29-31; C.Elliott 32-43; R. Blaney 44; D.Hamlin 45; H. Burton 46; T. Reddick 47-62

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): C.Elliott, 3 times for 36 laps. T.Reddick, 1 time for 16 rounds. R.Blaney, 2 times for 4 laps. C.Briscoe, 1 time for 4 rounds. D.Hamlin, 1 time for 1 lap. H.Burton, 1 time for 1 lap.

Win: C.Elliott, 2; R. Chastain, 2; J. Logano, 2; W.Byron, 2; D. Hamlin, 2; Ky. Busch, 1; K. Larson, 1; A. Bowman, 1; Ku.Busch, 1; A. Cindric, 1; C. Briscoe, 1; D.Suárez, 1; T. Reddick.

This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: NASCAR: Tyler Reddick edges Chase Elliott at Road America for first win

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