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NASCAR Cup Darlington II

Tyler Reddick: "This is the day that we needed to have"

Tyler Reddick wasn’t sure if he had a chance to catch Kyle Larson, but he was still satisfied to come away from Darlington with a runner-up finish.

Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Jordan Brand Toyota Camry

Reddick clearly had a fast No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota as he battled three different drivers for the lead in Sunday night’s NASCAR Cup playoff opener – Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell and finally Larson.

Larson beat Reddick off pit road on the final pit stops under caution late in the race but could not catch him even with the help of three restarts in the final 50 of 367 laps.

Reddick, who moved up to third in the playoff standings with two races remaining in the first round, said he didn’t know if there was anything else he could have done to get around Larson.

“Maybe just a little bit longer run. It had just gotten short enough to where you didn’t have to save a whole lot (on tires) I don’t think,” Larson said. “Kyle and I were pretty close the majority of the day, honestly, and he just got ahead of us there on pit road.

“But all in all, this is the day that we needed to have.”

Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Jordan Brand Toyota Camry

Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Jordan Brand Toyota Camry

Photo by: John Harrelson / NKP / Motorsport Images

Reddick said there have been too many occasions during the course of the 2023 season when his team provided him with a fast car but they let wins – or even good finishes – get away.

“Really just thankful for the hard work from my pit crew, from the team, everyone at the shop,” he said. “Days like this with a car like this, we haven’t been able to get a second place finish out of it, so really glad we were able to do that.

“It was a really good points day on top of that, as well.”

Reddick said the final laps created a “tough balance” as he wanted to push to challenge Larson but also had Chris Buescher ready to bounce close behind him.

“I was just getting so loose. I about wrecked in the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2 a few times, and I was either going to catch Kyle or I was going to wreck in the middle of (Turns) 1 and 2 and finish the last car out, 30th, 28th,” he said.

“It just didn’t make sense in my head, so we’ll take the second place. Hopefully, one day in the future, we come back and have another shot at the Southern 500.”


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