Tyler Reddick rolls to Truck Series win at Las Vegas
Tyler Reddick failed to qualify for the Camping World Truck Series Chase, but he was better than all those who did while winning the DC Solar 350 on Saturday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Reddick led a race-high 70 laps to earn the first-ever victory on a 1.5-mile track for Brad Keselowski Racing.
"It’s an incredible accomplishment — not just for our team, but for our entire organization," said Reddick, who finished second in the Truck Series points last season when he won two races but has struggled much of this season.
Reddick’s teammate at BKR, Daniel Hemric, came home in second.
It was the second race of the inaugural Truck Series Chase for the championship, with the eight-driver playoff field to be trimmed to six after the next race at Talladega on Oct. 22.
Hemric was the top-finishing Chaser, although he remains in seventh in the standings, 15 out of the final transfer spot heading to ‘Dega. He was followed in the finishing order at Las Vegas by Cole Custer, who also is not in the Chase, and then six Chasers — Ben Kennedy, William Byron, Christopher Bell, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton and pole-sitter Timothy Peters.
None of them were fast enough to catch Reddick on this night.
Reddick and Hemric combined to lead 63 of the first 100 laps, with Reddick taking the lead for good following a restart on Lap 98. He withstood a fierce challenge from Custer shortly thereafter, but held him off — and eventually Hemric passed Custer to move into second.
Hemric had no illusions about catching Reddick down the stretch, however.
"No, he was too good. Clean air is always king here on this mile-and-a-half (track)," Hemric said after earning his ninth top-five finish of the season. "But overall, I’m just so proud of everyone at Brad Keselowski Racing. That the first 1.5-mile win for BKR, so congratulations to Tyler and the entire 29 group of guys.
"They knew what they had to do. They won the race off pit road (on Lap 98) and that was such a big deal. … We fought hard. We probably ran a little too hard with the No. 00 (of Custer) and hurt our right-front tire too much."
The only Chaser who failed to finish on the lead lap was John Hunter Nemechek, who finished one lap down in 16th.
Meanwhile, Reddick told FOX Sports he was pleased to be able to make some history for BKR, the organization owned by Sprint Cup champion driver Brad Keselowski.
Reddick also actually apologized to Hemric for racing him hard earlier in the night
"This has been something that I and everyone on this team has wanted to do — win at a 1.5-mile racetrack," Reddick said. "To do it, I had to be aggressive and make some moves that I probably shouldn’t have on my teammate.
"I know he’s probably not the happiest with me getting on his door real bad. But honestly … we just had to make that move to hold him off and stay up front. … I’m just kind of breathless, speechless."