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McDowell gets turned, Reddick escapes chaos with Talladega Cup win

Reddick led on the white flag lap, but Brad Keselowski pushed Michael McDowell back out front and into the lead as the field went into Turns 1 and 2.

Entering the tri-oval, McDowell blocked Keselowski in the outside lane and Keselowski dove to the inside. McDowell, just a step slow, tried to block that move as well but instead his No. 34 Ford got turned into the wall.

As cars scattered throughout the infield from the wreck, Reddick drove by Keselowski and took the checkered flag by 0.208 seconds for his first win of the 2024 season.

"Man, it's incredible. Everyone on this No. 45 Toyota Camry worked really hard today," Reddick said after the race. "Didn't really work out in that third stage for us, but we were able to fight and defend our track position.

"Was that crazy, guys? Was that crazy, fans, huh? That was chaos. That's Talladega for you."

Asked how he was able to remain up front surrounded mostly by Ford drivers, Reddick said, "Just got to give a lot of credit to Ty Gibbs and Martin Truex. It was just us Toyotas left, and they pushed me with everything they had. So here's credit to Martin and Ty. Without those pushes, we don't win this race."

Roughly 30 laps earlier, the seven Toyotas had all pit together to kick off a final round of green flag stop only to see four of them get taken out of a contention in a wreck on lap 156 of 188.

Corey LaJoie’s No. 7 Chevrolet, one of those caught up in the last lap wreck, wound up on its side and crossed the finish line before ending up landing on all four wheels. No one was injured in the wreck.

Noah Gragson ended up third, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. fourth and Alex Bowman rounded out the top five.

Completing the top 10 were Anthony Alfredo, William Byron, Todd Gilliland, Daniel Hemric and Harrison Burton.

McDowell, who started on the pole, ended up credited with a 30th place finish and led the most laps (36).

Stage 1

Austin Cindric held off Chase Elliott by a scant 0.004 seconds in a side-by-side battle to capture the Stage 1 win. Byron was third, Ryan Blaney fourth and Kyle Busch completed the top five.

Stage 2

After navigating a tricky fuel strategy, Joey Logano held off teammate Cindric by 0.136 seconds to win Stage 2. Kyle Larson was third, Austin Dillon fourth and Ross Chastain rounded out the top five.

During a round of green flag pit stops late in the stage, Lajoie spun off the exit of pit road but was able to get re-fired and back on track without a caution.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, most of the lead lap cars elected to pit with Logano first off pit road. Logano led Larson and Cindric when the race resumed with 62 laps remaining.

Entering Turn 3 on lap 133, Elliott got into Justin Haley, who got into Christopher Bell and Bell’s 20 Toyota spun and slammed into the wall in an incident that also collected Chase Briscoe and Zane Smith. Bell was knocked out of the race.

The lead lap cars all took the opportunity to pit with Logano the first off pit road but nearly the entire field pit again under penalty to top off their tanks which left Berry in the lead with 49 laps to go.

A group of seven Toyota drivers were the first to hit pit road with 36 laps remaining to make their final green flag stop for fuel to make it to the end of the race.

Soon after that group pit, John Hunter Nemechek got into the back of Bubba Wallace entering Turn 3 on lap 156. Wallace then got into Erik Jones, which sent Jones’ No. 43 hard into the Turn 3 wall.

As Nemechek’s damaged No. 42 Toyota came back down the track he hit Denny Hamlin – which left all four cars out of the race.

McDowell led Reddick and Keselowski when the race resumed with 27 laps to go.

Reddick, racing side by side with McDowell, pulled ahead for the lead on the outside line with five laps remaining.

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