Motorsport News

Tyler Reddick and the Game of Inches

Nascar Cup Series

Most drivers would be happy to get back-to-back top-five finishes like Tyler Reddick has the past two weeks.

But Reddick can be excused for feeling disappointed. Both his last two races could have easily been wins if a few things had gone differently. Instead, he and 23XI Racing have been left to wonder what might have been.

A week ago, at Nashville Superspeedway, Reddick survived the quintuple overtime chaos and was charging through the field during the final laps. He got to leader Joey Logano’s back bumper going into turn 3 for the final time, but he could not figure out a way past the No. 22. Reddick was highly frustrated in his post-race interview, despite a strong third-place finish

“Everything,” Reddick told NBC’s Kim Coon when asked if he could have done anything differently. “It’s very disappointing. I’m trying my best (to deal with the frustration), but it’s tough. I’m trying to keep it cool at the moment. I’m really upset about how that ended.”

Last weekend’s race at the Chicago street course brought another good finish, but no relief for Reddick’s disappointment.

For the second time in as many years, the race was another grueling, rainy affair ultimately cut short by darkness. With the end of the race approaching, the No. 45 team was one of many to pit before the end of stage two and exchange wet tires for slicks. The pit stop dropped Reddick deep in the field as several drivers who had been at the back of the pack stayed out, opting to keep track position and finish the race on rain tires. Initially, Reddick and his fellow competitors made little progress on slicks, and staying on rain tires appeared to be the correct call.

However, the track conditions ultimately shifted to favor slicks in the final five minutes of racing.

Reddick began rocketing through the field, just as he did at Nashville. He was rapidly closing in on leader Alex Bowman, who still had rain tires, and was within sight of the No. 48 as the white flag flew. Reddick had the speed to pass Bowman on the last lap and was seemingly on his way to redemption. But as he raced through turn 5 for the final time, Reddick took the corner a bit too tight and bounced off the inside wall. The contact broke his momentum and allowed Bowman to get away. Bowman held the lead until he took the checkered flag and ended a winless drought of more than two years. Reddick had to settle for second.

“We were catching Alex by a large…

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