BRISTOL, Tenn. – On one of the wildest nights in the history of Bristol Motor Speedway’s concrete high banks, Tyler Reddick outlasted the field to reign victorious in the Food City 300.
Despite failing pre-race inspection four times, losing his car chief, having to start last and falling a lap down after a pass-through penalty on the initial start, Reddick came through the field like a man possessed.
He caught a break at lap eight when Mason Diaz slammed the backstretch wall to bring out the first of nine caution flags on the night, getting back the lap he lost serving his penalty, and from there Reddick stormed past car after car on his march to the front.
Reddick was challenging for the lead by lap 82, but spun while challenging Justin Allgaier for the race lead and ended up 23rd in stage one – having to come back from the rear of the field for a second time.
He rallied through the second stint and was second to Kyle Busch when the green checkered flag waved to conclude stage two, but inherited the lead when Busch’s engine expired moments later, relegating the all-time NASCAR Xfinity Series wins leader to the garage and out of the event.
Though Reddick ceded the point to Allgaier on lap 181, barely a revolution following the start to the final stage, he remained within striking distance in second until Michael Annett tagged the wall and spun with 80 laps left – leading to a split in strategies that ultimately paid dividends for Reddick.
Reddick pitted for tires under the caution, while Allgaier stayed out to preserve his track position.
It appeared to be the winning move for Allgaier for a long while, as he held the point until 11 to go, but the Riverton, Ill., driver cut a tire on lap 290 while leading and fell out of contention in an instant.
Reddick raced past as Allgaier ducked to pit road to take a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. The Corning, Calif., native and defending Xfinity Series champion was out front for the final 11 laps and beat runner-up Chase Briscoe to the checkered flag by .655 seconds.
After a smoky burnout, Reddick climbed from his car, shook his head and grinned in disbelief at the wild sequence of events that led to his seventh-career Xfinity Series win and fourth of the season.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said a stunned Reddick. “I thought we made the wrong adjustment on the last (pit) stop. We had a really fast Tame the Beast Chevrolet, and we had fresher tires than Justin Allgaier there … but we came down pit road and got too tight. I thought we were done for, honestly. I don’t know what happened after that. Everything just worked out in exactly the right spots for us.
“I fell back to fourth, the 19 (Jones) drove it in the fence, then the 98 (Briscoe) went to the bottom for some strange reason, and then the 7 (Allgaier) had some sort of issue. As you can see, I’m speechless,” Reddick added. “I couldn’t believe what was happening. … This one is for my car chief, Cam (Strader).”
Behind Briscoe, John Hunter Nemechek – who pitted for tires under the final caution flag with 20 to go – passed Jeremy Clements on the last lap for third, while polesitter Austin Cindric saw his two-race winning streak come to an end with a fifth-place finish on Friday night.
Gray Gaulding was sixth, the last car on the lead lap, and Timmy Hill tied his career-best finish in seventh in a joint effort between Carl Long’s Motorsports Business Management and Hattori Racing Enterprises.
A crestfallen Allgaier crossed the line eighth, two laps down, after leading 131 laps for JR Motorsports.
“I’ll be honest with you, this is the story of the year,” lamented Allgaier. “We had a great car tonight. I don’t know if we could have beaten the 18 (Busch) apples to apples, but when he fell out, I thought — especially at the end — that we had the best car.
“I don’t know what else to do. It’s just so frustrating,” he added. “These guys deserve a win. It’s just a tire that went down, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
A multi-car accident in turn three on lap 37 eliminated both Joey Logano and Erik Jones from the race, after they piled into the spinning car of Christopher Bell following contact between Bell and Cole Custer.
Both Bell and Custer were able to continue, but finished 14th and 22nd, respectively.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.