Reddick wins at Circuit of the Americas after surviving late restarts.

lebe March 27, 2023

Tyler Reddick, with the lead and the fastest car on the track, managed to hold on over multiple late restarts to win in triple overtime Sunday at Circuit of the Americas, the first road course race on this year’s NASCAR schedule. Despite several cautions and restarts, Reddick remained poised and earned his first victory with new team 23XI Racing, making it his fourth career Cup Series win, and his third on a road course.

The race was full of aggressive driving and several confrontations between drivers, but Reddick managed to hold his position through the elevated, switchback left-hand turn that caused many drivers to bunch up and smash into each other on the restarts. Reddick’s victory was the first of the year for Toyota and his first since joining the team co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan.

Sports car driver and four-time IMSA champion, Jordan Taylor, was also on the track Sunday as a substitute for the injured Chase Elliott. Elliott is still recovering from a fractured leg sustained in a snowboarding accident and participated in the Fox Sports broadcast booth remotely from Colorado. Taylor, known as a “road course ringer,” filled in for Elliott and competed in the race.

Taylor’s 24th place finish at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on Sunday may not have been what he was hoping for, but it was still a notable achievement for the sports car driver who was brought in to replace the injured Chase Elliott. Despite limited experience in NASCAR’s top-level Cup Series, Taylor held his own against some of the sport’s biggest names and showed that he has the talent and adaptability to compete at the highest level.

But Taylor’s performance was just one of many storylines that emerged from an action-packed race that saw multiple caution flags, restarts, and crashes. Tyler Reddick, driving for new team 23XI Racing, emerged as the eventual winner after holding off challenges from Kyle Busch and Alex Bowman in a race that went to triple overtime. It was a hard-fought victory for Reddick, who had to navigate a challenging course that tested even the most experienced drivers.

Another notable aspect of the race was the presence of former Formula One champions Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button, who were both competing in NASCAR for the first time. Raikkonen, driving for Trackhouse Racing’s Project91 team, finished 27th after a late-race shuffle, while Button, driving for Rick Ware Racing, finished 18th. Although neither driver was able to contend for the win, their presence added an extra layer of excitement to an already thrilling event.

Looking ahead, there are signs that NASCAR may return to COTA in 2024. Speedway Motorsports, which runs the event and rents the track for a week, has an option to return next season, and ticket holders have been given the opportunity to reserve spots for 2024. If the race does return, it will likely draw a large crowd of enthusiastic fans who are eager to see their favorite drivers take on one of the most challenging road courses in the sport.

But for now, the focus shifts to next Sunday’s race at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Denny Hamlin, who co-owns Reddick’s 23XI Racing team, is the defending race winner and will be looking to add another victory to his impressive resume. Other drivers to watch include defending Cup Series champion Kyle Larson, who has been dominant so far this season, and Martin Truex Jr., who won at Phoenix Raceway earlier this month.

As always, anything can happen in NASCAR, and the upcoming race at Richmond is sure to be another thrilling and unpredictable event. Whether it’s a veteran driver or a newcomer like Taylor, anything is possible in the high-speed world of stock car racing.

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