NASCAR Cup Series
NASCAR takeaways: Tyler Reddick puts on dominant road-course display at COTA
NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR takeaways: Tyler Reddick puts on dominant road-course display at COTA

Published Mar. 26, 2023 9:43 p.m. ET

AUSTIN, Texas — Tyler Reddick said he was able to remain relatively calm despite having to defend his lead five times on restarts over the final 14 laps Sunday afternoon.

Reddick knew he had a good car. And he has shown his talent on road courses before, having won two of the six road-course races last year.

But even the best drivers slip up in pressure situations. Reddick didn't — he did lose the lead once but got it back a couple laps later — and held off Kyle Busch for the victory in a race that had three overtime restarts.

It marked the first Cup win for Reddick since moving to 23XI Racing for the start of this season, and it was notable that he outdueled Busch, who replaced Reddick at Richard Childress Racing.


"Kyle races with a lot of respect," Reddick said. "He gets a bad rap from a number of the fans, but pretty much from Day 1 coming into the Cup Series, Kyle and I have raced really, really well around each other.

"I knew he would give everything he had."

Takeways from a wild COTA race, where Alex Bowman was third, Ross Chastain fourth and William Byron fifth:

EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix highlights

Tyler Reddick captured the checkered flag in overtime, earning his fourth career Cup Series win. Kyle Busch came in second and Alex Bowman was third.

Reddick A Stud

Reddick led 41 laps and was clearly the best in the field. The drivers who finished second through fifth have a combined nine wins in the last two years.

He asked his team after each restart what he could do better, and he improved each time.

"I wouldn't say [I got] nervous," Reddick said. "It was just a stressful time in the car today, just circumstances. I was still able to execute and get the job done.

"I didn't get every restart done perfectly but we got the ones that mattered — the last one."

His car owner, Denny Hamlin, obviously was stoked.

"It's a big pressure situation probably for Tyler — you've been the dominant car all weekend, you have the field covered and you know at that point when you're leading the race, it's your race to lose," Hamlin said.

"There's not much to gain. There's only a lot to lose if he doesn't execute. For him to manage those pressure situations and execute on restarts, it's huge."

Hamlin had originally signed Reddick to join the team in 2024 but Reddick came to 23XI Racing a year early to replace Kurt Busch, who remains sidelined by a concussion.

"He just slows everything down — he's running fast, but he's doing it in slow motion, which is just a sign that of someone that's in control," Hamlin said.

'I was extremely motivated'

Tyler Reddick spoked with Regan Smith after his huge win at COTA.

Suarez Upset And In Trouble

Of all the drivers angry with the chaos at the end of the race, Daniel Suarez might have been the most furious.

Suarez was fourth going into the first overtime and got spun by Alex Bowman, who had received contact from Suarez teammate Ross Chastain.

Suarez ran into the back of the Chastain and Bowman cars on pit road following the race, which likely will result in at least a fine if not a points penalty.

After the race, Suarez did exchange words with Bowman and Chastain.

"We were going to win the race and I just hate that I race people aggressive, clean and then I get dumped like that," Suarez said. "That's not real racing."

Chastain finishes 4th

Ross Chastain discussed his top-5 finish in Austin following a heated day of racing.

Bowman tried to explain to Suarez what happened.

"The only reason I was inside of the 99 [of Suarez] was to protect from the 1 [of Chastain passing me]," Bowman said. "Then the 1 just hammered me in the corner, dumped me, then I ran into the 99, kind of cleaned him out."

Up And Down

Suarez was fourth at the end of "regulation" and finished 27th after the spins. Ryan Preece was eighth and ended up 32nd after being wrecked.

On the other side, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. went from 31st to eighth during the overtimes.

Hamlin ended up 16th and at the postrace news conference joked that they had two laps remaining two hours earlier.

"I don't know if it's good chaos," Hamlin said. "It just felt like it kept going on and on and on. I don't know what we do about it." 

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.

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