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Tyler Reddick survives wild night at Bristol Motor Speedway

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Tyler Reddick at Bristol Motor Speedway. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE.

BRISTOL, Tenn. Tyler Reddick had about everything go wrong for him on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, yet he still ended up in victory lane.

To begin the day, Reddick’s No. 2 Camaro failed pre-qualifying tech inspection four times, resulting in an L1 penalty, loss of ten points, and a starting position of last.

On top of all of that, Reddick was also required to serve a pass-through pit road penalty to start the race.

“We started from the back with a pass through penalty, and had a little bit of a hole to dig out of,” Reddick said. “Luckily, we got a caution pretty fast and got back on the lead lap and we began to push our way through the field.”

Then, after fighting back from that for a chance at the Stage 1 victory, he collided with Justin Allgaier and spun to the back of the pack again.

“I tried to make good on my promise to my crew chief Randall Burnett and the team to win the first stage, but the car slid out on me. We luckily didn’t receive any damage, just some flat tires and were able to pit to fix that. Unfortunately, we had a slight miscue on pit road and got sent to the back again.”

During the final stage, Reddick pitted for fresh tires but couldn’t catch Allgaier, who stayed out.

On the final restart, Reddick fell back to fourth as Allgaier pulled away, Brandon Jones snuck by, and Chase Briscoe battled above on the preferred line.

At this point, it looked like victory was unlikely for the defending NASCAR Xfinity Series champion.

Just before the laps counter hit ten laps to go in the Food City 300, Reddick’s fortune changed.

Brandon Jones blew a tire nearly the moment he made the move to get into the second position.

Less than a lap later, Allgaier also blew a tire from the lead.

“We were making some gains on the No. 7 for the lead as the laps wound down, and then all the sudden, it was like the seas parted. Everything came together in those final ten laps, and we were able to get the win.”

Reddick fought around Briscoe and took control, and led the final 11 laps of the race en route to his fourth victory of the season, and seventh of his NXS career.

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Kyle Busch (18) leads Justin Allgaier (7) early in the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE.

Austin Cindric led the field to the green flag, but Kyle Busch took the lead right away, leading the first 59 laps of the event.

A big moment in the race came early, when Cole Custer was forced into the wall trying to pass the lapped car of Matt Mills.

Custer collected Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, and Erik Jones in the process. The wreck ended the evening for both Jones and Logano.

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Erik Jones (81), Cole Custer (00), Christopher Bell (20), and Joey Logano (12) sit sideways in Turn 3 after colliding early at Bristol Motor Speedway. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE.

A late caution in the stage for debris led Busch to opt for a pit stop, while Allgaier opted to stay out.

As mentioned above, the stage didn’t end the way Allgaier had hoped, as he collided with Reddick in the closing laps, which allowed Brandon Jones to scoot by and take the stage victory.

Stage 2 was the Kyle Busch show.

Even in almost catastrophe, when a tire flew off the No. 90 of Ronnie Bassett, Jr. and the mayhem almost collected the No. 18, Busch was able to keep moving forward.

However, towards the end of the stage, Busch’s motor started to expire.

Busch drove it across the line to win the second stage, but pulled it behind the wall a lap later to retire, as smoke billowed from the Toyota Supra.

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Kyle Busch at Bristol Motor Speedway. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE.

“Coming off the corner, I got back into the gas and it broke, and just tried to limp it home, and that was all she had,” Busch said after climbing out of the car. “Tough day for our Juniper Supra.

“It was really, really fast. It was really, really good. We’re always good here, so it’s nice to have a solid run, but man, these guys have had a bad month and I was hoping to get them a win to get them back in the owner’s deal, but just not meant to be. We’ll try again tomorrow.”

Reddick had taken the lead in the exchange, and pit cycle during the stage break, but Allgaier was on a mission.

Allgaier took the lead back with 120 laps to go, and began to show his muscle over the rest of the field.

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Pit strategy played out and might have been a factor for the victory between Justin Allgaier (7) and Tyler Reddick (2) at Bristol Motor Speedway. Photo by Justin Melillo / TRE.

A caution with just under 80 laps to go split the field on whether to pit or not.

Allgaier and his team elected to stay out with a handful of drivers, while Reddick took his Camaro to the pits for four fresh tires.

Despite the fresh tires, Reddick couldn’t catch Allgaier, but a final caution flag gave Reddick one last hope.

Allgaier pulled away and looked to be on his way to his first victory of the 2019 season, but with 12 laps to go, blew a tire, and handed the lead back to Reddick.

Reddick held off Briscoe and John Hunter Nemechek for the win.

 

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Kyle Busch led the most laps on the evening with 137, while Justin Allgaier led 131. Reddick only led 19, but he also led the most important one, the final one.

Following an off night for two of the “Big 3”, Reddick extends his point lead over Christopher Bell to 54 points.

The series heads to Road America for the final Road Course of the regular season, where Allgaier was victorious one year ago.

Only four races remain before the playoff field is set.

FOOD CITY 300 RESULTS

SOURCES:
NASCAR Media
Richard Childress Racing
Toyota Racing

Justin Melillo View All

Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com

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