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Jim Utter

Reddick survives triple overtime to win messy COTA Cup race

Reddick and William Byron spent much of the race trading the lead but Reddick moved out front for the final time on Lap 64 of what was originally scheduled as a 68-lap race.

To preserve the win, however, Reddick had to fight off repeated challengers in three two-lap overtimes to claim the victory in Sunday’s race at COTA, his first win driving 23XI Racing’s No. 45 Toyota.

On the final restart with Reddick in the lead, Kyle Busch got into Alex Bowman entering Turn 1 which helped Reddick clear for the lead and he made it to the white flag without any further incidents on the track.

Reddick ended up claiming the win over Busch by 1.411 seconds to earn his fourth career win, three of which have come on road courses.

The win continues a remarkable turnaround for Reddick, who began the season wrecking out of the first two races.

“It means the world. This whole 23XI team has been working so hard all winter long to make the road course program better. Was extremely motivated to come in here and prove that performance, too,” Reddick said.

“Toyota, everybody, all the resources they’ve been putting into this to help turn around the road course program means a lot. I’m out of gas.

“Unfortunately, we had some problems with the cool shirt. I felt that today. I screwed up Turn 1 about every single time. It’s good to turn it around and make it better at the end.”

Bowman finished third, Ross Chastain fourth and Byron wound up fifth.

Completing the top-10 were Austin Cindric, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chris Buescher, Ty Gibbs and Todd Gilliland.

Among the road course “ringers” who participated in Sunday’s race, former Formula 1 champion Jenson Button had the best finish of 18th.

Sportscar star Jordan Taylor, substituting for the injured Chase Elliott was 24th and former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen received a penalty for short-cutting the track on the final lap and ended up 29th.

Stage 3

As the final stage got underway, Reddick remained in the lead.

On Lap 31, Gibbs was assessed a pass-through penalty for short-cutting the esses part of the track.

Kyle Larson was among a handful of drivers who elected to pit under green after the start of the final stage but was penalized for speeding and had to serve a pass-through penalty.

Reddick made a green-flag stop on Lap 32, which handed the lead over to Buescher.

After Buescher made a green-flag stop, Byron cycled back into the lead on Lap 33.

On Lap 34, Gibbs was again penalized for short-cutting the esses part of the track and had to serve another pass-through penalty down pit road.

On newer tires, Reddick got around A.J. Allmendinger on Lap 37 to move into the second position, 1.5 seconds behind Byron.

Reddick finally caught Byron off Turn 1 on Lap 3, quickly got around him on the inside and returned to the lead.

Hamlin went for a spin near Turn 8 on Lap 41, which spread gravel over the track surface and forced NASCAR to display the third caution of the race on Lap 42.

Most of the lead-lap cars pit under caution with Reddick first off pit road. Joey Logano stayed on the track and inherited the lead.

On the restart on Lap 44, Logano was followed by Harrison Burton, Cody Ware, Reddick, Byron, Daniel Suarez and Austin Dillon.

After the field went seven-wide in Turn 1 on the restart, Byron emerged as the leader followed by Reddick and Chastain.

After two laps of much side-by-side racing, Reddick finally cleared Byron to reclaim the lead on Lap 47.

The No. 5 Chevrolet of Kyle Larson appeared to break a toe-link and fell off the pace on Lap 49. He eventually made his way to pit road.

On Lap 53, both Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. both went for a spin in Turn 11 but both were able to return to the track.

Keselowski’s No. 6 Ford stalled out on the track on Lap 57, which forced NASCAR to bring out the fourth caution of the race. The caution also helped several teams which were going to be close on fuel making it to the end of the race.

Most of the lead-lap cars pit but five remained on the track and Bell inherited the lead. Reddick was first off pit road.

On the restart on Lap 60, Christopher Bell was followed by Busch, Denny Hamlin, Raikkonen, Ryan Preece, Reddick, Byron and Suarez.

Reddick powered into the lead in Turn 1 but Austin Dillon, Chastain and Allmendinger made contact and went off course. Chastain’s No. 1 Chevrolet stalled on the track and forced NASCAR to put the race back under caution.

The race resumed with seven laps to go with Reddick out front followed by Bell, Byron, Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Bowman and Raikkonen.

Byron powered to the lead on the restart as Reddick fell in behind him in second.

With five laps remaining, Byron maintained a small lead over Reddick while Busch was third, Suarez fourth and Bowman fifth.

On Lap 64, Reddick went to the inside of Byron in Turn 11 and came away with the lead again.

NASCAR was forced to put out a caution on Lap 66 for debris on the back straightaway dropped by Austin Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet, which sent the race into a two-lap overtime.

To start the overtime, Reddick led the way followed by Byron, Busch, Saurez, Truex, Bowman and McDowell.

The race went into a second overtime when Ryan Blaney had a tire go down and it shredded covered the backstretch with debris.

To start the second overtime, Reddick still led followed by Busch, Byron, Suarez, Truex, McDowell and Bowman.

The race went into a third overtime when several cars received damage from contact on Lap 71 and a tire carcass ended up on the track.

To start the third overtime, Reddick still led followed by Busch, Bowman, Byron, Chastain, Cindric and Buescher.

Stage 2

After the completion of Lap 30, Reddick was in the lead and awarded the Stage 2 win, his first stage victory of the 2023 season.

Austin Dillon was second, McDowell third, Kevin Harvick fourth and Buescher rounded out the top-five.

As the second stage got underway, Byron led the way as the race restarted on Lap 16.

On Lap 17, Ryan Blaney spun after contact with Larson and briefly went off course. He was able to return to the course without the need of a caution. He did take his No. 12 Ford to pit road for repairs.

On Lap 21, Busch and Button were among the drivers who decided to make a green-flag pit stop to take on new tires and fuel. Gibbs pit on Lap 22.

Cindric and Taylor both pit on Lap 23. Chastain and Bowman did as well.

Byron made his first stop of the race on Lap 24, which handed the lead back over to Reddick.

With five laps remaining in the stage, Reddick led the way followed by Austin Dillon and McDowell.

On Lap 29, Larson spun around near Turn 9 but was able to return to the course and continue.

Stage 1

After the completion of Lap 15, Byron was awarded the Stage 1 win as he was the leader while the race was under caution.

Cindric was second, Allmendinger third, Bowman fourth and Suarez rounded out the top-five.

Byron started on the pole and just after he led the first lap, Keselowski spun and collected Ty Dillon in Turn 20 to place the race under caution. The incident also collected Jimmie Johnson and Buescher.

Both Dillon and Johnson were unable to repair their cars and had their race come to an early end.

A handful of cars pit under the caution but Byron remained on the track and in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 6.

Cindric powered past Byron and Reddick in Turn 1 on the restart and moved into the lead.

On Lap 7, Logano was assessed a pass-through penalty for short-cutting the esses.

On Lap 8, Hamlin and Corey LaJoie were both assessed the same penalty.

Also on Lap 8, Reddick went to the outside of Cindric and came away with the lead for the first time in the race.

McDowell was assessed a pass-through penalty on Lap 9 for short-cutting the esses part of the track.

On Lap 12, Larson got spun around by Hamlin and stalled on the track to bring out a caution.

Several cars decided to pit, including the leader, but Byron remained on the track and inherited the lead.

McDowell had to start the race from the rear of the field for unapproved adjustments to his No. 34 Ford.

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