By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
A wreck in overtime took out Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick, the two NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars with the best chance of running down Kyle Busch. Bell limped to the finish while Reddick failed to finish the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In an aggressive battle with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Busch, Reddick entered turn the beneath the veteran. His No. 2 Hurdl Chevrolet Camaro SS bobbled and slid up the track. Just as Reddick appeared to save his car, he clipped Bell’s No. 20 Rheem Toyota Supra. The duo spun in front of the field.
Reddick’s car slid up the track and into the path of Zane Smith. The JR Motorsports driver slammed into the drivers’ door of the No. 2 Chevrolet. Meanwhile, Bell slid down the track. Just as it appeared his Toyota would emerge relatively undamaged; his left rear was clipped by Austin Cindric. As Bell spun into the grass, his splitter dug into the grass, adding insult to injury. Luckily all of the drivers were unharmed.
Neither Cindric or Smith could continue. Cindric ended the race in 22nd. Smith, in his debut was relegated to a 24th-place finish.
Reddick limped around under the ensuing caution. However, he was on the damaged vehicle policy, and after six minutes of attempted repairs, his race was over. Reddick finished 14th.
“It’s just one of those things at the end of the race you’re just trying to get every inch you can, and I think I drove into turns three and four a little too hard,” Reddick admitted. “I put myself in the worst possible position aerodynamically speaking. Kyle was able to pack a little bit of air of the quarter panel and I just couldn’t hold on to it. I got loose. I almost had it saved, but I clipped Christopher and unfortunately tore up a lot of good cars.
“I hate for us, for everybody, but it’s overtime. You have to go for a race win. Before the last caution came out, I was right there with Kyle, so I felt like we had a shot at it.”
Bell limped around, his damage minor compared to Reddick. However, the damage limited his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Bell limped around and ultimately finished 13th, three laps down.
“I’m certainly disappointed with the finish, but that was fun,” Bell admitted. “That was a ton of fun going out there rim-riding and Tyler (Reddick) was awesome. I think my spotter said we were the only three on the lead lap there for a little bit. It’s really cool whenever you get a couple great guys like that to go out and put on a good show.
“I’m thankful that Kyle gets to race with us, and he makes us work for us and he still won today so it’s not like we beat him. Hopefully we’ll beat him one of these times.”
Despite the wreck, Bell still leads the championship points standings. Likewise, despite the wreck, Reddick moved up to be tied with Cole Custer for second, 18-points behind Bell.