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NASCAR Cup Chicago

Reddick "screwed up" in attempt to snag Chicago win from Bowman

Just when it appeared Tyler Reddick’s pit strategy decision was finally about to pay off, he made a costly mistake as the clock ran out on his pursuit of a win on Sunday.

Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Jordan Brand Toyota Camry

Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Jordan Brand Toyota Camry

Photo by: Danny Hansen / NKP / Motorsport Images

Following a nearly two-hour rain delay during Stage 2, NASCAR set a hard stop time of 8:20 p.m. Local time for the conclusion of the originally scheduled 75-lap race at the Chicago Street Course.

With the 2.2-mile, 12-turn course quickly drying out entering the final stage and time running out, Reddick was among the group of teams that pit for slick tires, hoping they would prove faster.

More than a half-dozen cars, however, elected to remain on the track on their wet weather tires in order to keep track position, including eventual race winner Alex Bowman.

At first, the tire difference didn’t seem to prove much of an advantage as Bowman ran down Joey Hand for the lead but a caution on lap 52 for a car stuck in the tire barriers, provided Reddick and the others another short.

The race resumed with about four minutes remaining before the white flag – signaling the start of the final lap – would be displayed.

This time, Reddick’s No. 45 23XI Toyota took off and he quickly made his way into second and began running down Bowman.

Just before the final lap, though, first Bowman and then Reddick hit the wall and all the momentum Reddick had been lost. Bowman ended up taking the checkered flag by 2.863 seconds.

Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Monster Energy Toyota Camry

Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, Monster Energy Toyota Camry

Photo by: David Rosenblum / NKP / Motorsport Images

“We were catching Alex by a large margin there, and I don’t know, that puzzles me. I clearly just screwed up,” a disappointed Reddick said after the race. “Trying to stay in the dry groove and I had more than enough of dry groove. I cut the wheel a little too hard.

“Just not focused enough, I guess. I knew I was going to get to him. I knew the earlier I could get to him, the more options I was going to have. It was going to get a little bit more slick off the (racing) line beyond Turn 8.”

Sunday was the third straight race Reddick had been in position to pick up his second win of the 2024 NASCAR Cup season and came up short.

He led before a long rain delay two weeks ago at New Hampshire but was not the same after NASCAR elected to restart the race and finish it on wet weather tires. He ended up sixth.

Last weekend at Nashville, Reddick appeared in the best position to catch leader Joey Logano on the final restart as the race went into a record five overtimes but failed to get by him and finished third.

“Yeah, just didn’t even give ourselves a shot to race (Bowman), unfortunately, with that. Hate it. Not what this (team) is about, that’s not what this team is about,” Reddick said.

“We’ve got to start capitalizing and getting these wins.”

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