By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
TALLADEGA, Ala. – Tyler Reddick overcame a pit road speeding penalty and damage to the right side of his No. 2 Chevrolet to win Saturday’s MoneyLion 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
With the right side of his Richard Childress Racing Chevy heavily taped after a brush with the outside wall, Reddick crossed the finish line at the end of a two-lap closing dash .127 seconds ahead of runner-up Gray Gaulding, who drove his No. 08 Chevrolet to the first top-10 finish of his career.
The reigning series champion, who moved from JR Motorsports to RCR during the offseason, won for the first time this year, the first time at Talladega and the fourth time in his career, extending his series lead to 32 points over third-place finisher Christopher Bell.
Reddick also won the $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus that goes to the highest finisher among four eligible drivers.
“I tried to take us out of this race so many times, and somehow we got back into the mix and got back to the lead,” said Reddick, who blocked for all he was worth on the final two laps after a seven-car incident on Lap 109 forced NASCAR to red-flag the event for track clean-up.
In fact, Reddick had luck on his side, too. After contact with the wall, he was roughly 200 yards from going a lap down when NASCAR called the third caution of the race on Lap 66 for debris in Turn 1. Twenty laps later, Reddick escaped contact with Noah Gragson’s Chevy without significant damage.
But it was dodging a Lap 95 wreck involving pole winner Michael Annett, Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer that finally gave Reddick the sense that it might be his day.
“As soon as I missed that wreck when the 00 (Custer) and the 1 (Annett) got caught up, and I somehow missed it, and the 23 (John Hunter Nemechek) did a great job weaving his way out of it, too, I thought, ‘There must be a reason why I wasn’t in that wreck,’” Reddick said. “It was just a lot of fun to work my way back to the front.”
Chase Briscoe finished fourth, as he Reddick, Bell and Gaulding earned the four qualifying positions for next Saturday’s Dash4Cash race at Dover.
Austin Cindric was fifth, followed by Nemecheck, Justin Haley, Josh Williams, Landon Cassill and Chris Cockrum, who, like Gaulding, scored his first career top 10.
Gaulding had a run on the backstretch on the final lap, but a block from Briscoe slowed his momentum.
“I was kind of the lone ranger out there,” Gaulding said. “I think I just had to earn a lot of people’s respect. I did as much as I could to get beside him (Reddick), but when the 98 (Briscoe) came up, he kind of blocked my run.
“Man, it was so, so close. Man, what a day, baby. Talladega—let’s go!”
NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 28th Annual MoneyLion 300
Saturday, April 27, 2019
- (2) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 113.
- (8) Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 113.
- (10) Christopher Bell, Toyota, 113.
- (9) Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 113.
- (17) Austin Cindric, Ford, 113.
- (15) John Hunter Nemechek #, Chevrolet, 113.
- (5) Justin Haley #, Chevrolet, 113.
- (16) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 113.
- (22) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 113.
- (18) Chris Cockrum, Chevrolet, 113.
- (14) Noah Gragson #, Chevrolet, 113.
- (33) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 113.
- (6) Brett Moffitt(i), Chevrolet, 113.
- (28) David Starr, Chevrolet, 113.
- (32) Brandon Brown #, Chevrolet, 113.
- (4) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 113.
- (26) Matt Mills, Toyota, 113.
- (13) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 113.
- (29) Vinnie Miller, Toyota, 113.
- (35) Max Tullman, Toyota, 113.
- (34) Cody Ware, Toyota, 113.
- (25) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 113.
- (31) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, 111.
- (20) Stephen Leicht, Chevrolet, 111.
- (24) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 111.
- (7) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota, Accident, 110.
- (30) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, Accident, 108.
- (11) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, Accident, 108.
- (19) Timmy Hill, Toyota, Accident, 108.
- (3) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, Gear Cooler, 105.
- (1) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, Accident, 95.
- (12) Cole Custer, Ford, Accident, 94.
- (23) Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, Transmisson, 86.
- (36) Ray Black II, Chevrolet, Accident, 65.
- (21) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, Engine, 52.
- (37) Chad Finchum, Toyota, Gear, 36.
- (27) Joey Gase, Toyota, Engine, 35.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 126.976 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 22 Mins, 2 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.127 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 8 for 34 laps.
Lead Changes: 16 among 10 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M. Annett 0;T. Reddick 1-6;R. Chastain 7-10;T. Reddick 11-27;J. Allgaier 28-31;N. Gragson # 32-50;J. Allgaier 51-52;J. Clements 53;R. Chastain 54-56;B. Jones 57;M. Annett 58-67;D. Starr 68-70;C. Bell 71-84;J. Allgaier 85-91;C. Briscoe # 92-100;C. Bell 101-102;T. Reddick 103-113.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Tyler Reddick 3 times for 34 laps; Noah Gragson # 1 time for 19 laps; Christopher Bell 2 times for 16 laps; Justin Allgaier 3 times for 13 laps; Michael Annett 1 time for 10 laps; Chase Briscoe # 1 time for 9 laps; Ross Chastain 2 times for 7 laps; David Starr 1 time for 3 laps; Brandon Jones 1 time for 1 lap; Jeremy Clements 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 2,10,22,39,08,7,20,11,9,23
Stage #2 Top Ten: 9,7,39,98,10,20,19,11,1,2