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Tyler Reddick Earns a Special Victory at COTA

Inage: AP Photo

On July 12th, 2022, it was announced that Tyler Reddick was signed on to drive the #45 car for 23XI Racing starting in 2024 and beyond. That announcement came not even two weeks after Reddick won his first Cup Series race with Richard Childress Racing. Three months later, in mid-October, Kurt Busch, who drove the #45 for part of 2022, announced his retirement due to a lingering concussion from a qualifying crash at Pocono. This allowed Reddick to be brought over to 23XI a year earlier than expected. Co-owner of 23XI, Denny Hamlin, called Reddick a “franchise driver.” With Reddick’s performance over the weekend at Circuit of the Americas, it’s easy to see why Hamlin gave Reddick that nickname.

How did Reddick win at COTA?

For the early portion of the race, it seemed that it was going to be William Byron’s day. Byron started on pole and was able to claim the first stage after a restart. Reddick would go on to win stage two after staying on a different pit strategy compared to Byron. As the varying strategies would play a factor into the end of the race, Byron and Reddick would have an amazing battle for the lead with 23 laps to go. Reddick would end up getting the better of Byron and taking the lead. It would seem to be Tyler Reddick’s day. But with four laps to go, the caution would come out which would set up an overtime restart. In short terms, pure chaos took place. There would end up being three overtime restarts.

As the old saying goes, cautions breed cautions. As previously said, there would be three attempts at a green flag overtime finish. Once it seemed that it was going to be Tyler Reddick’s race, the caution would come out. Eventually, there would finally be a clean finish to the race, and Reddick came out on top. This is Reddick’s fourth Cup Series victory and third on a road course. This is also his first win for 23XI Racing, so this win is very special to Reddick.

How did the new aero package work at COTA?

Earlier this season, it was announced that the Cup Series would start using a new aero package at short tracks and road courses. The goal of this new package was to reduce downforce by 30% to have more side-by-side battles on track. This package made its’ debut at Phoenix, almost three weeks ago. After Phoenix, fans were wondering how the new package would perform on a road course. Now that this race weekend is over, it performed very well at COTA. Throughout the race, there were constant battles for the lead and throughout the field. Up until the overtime restarts, there was great racing every lap of the race. If this package works well like it did this past weekend at COTA, then the rest of the road courses should be fun to watch.

What to expect from Richmond:

In the past few years, it has been well documented that Richmond has fallen off from where it used to be in the early 2000s. Back in the day, Richmond used to live up to the same hype as the Bristol Night Race. It has also been well-documented that the Next-Gen car doesn’t perform the best on short tracks. Last season, the racing at Richmond was not fantastic. However, the August Richmond race last season was better than the Spring race, but not by much. This time around, we will get to see how the new aero package work at a proper short track. If the new aero package works the way that it did at COTA, then maybe, just maybe Richmond could be on the right track to being a good race once again.

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