For the fourth straight race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series playoffs, a non-playoff driver found Victory Lane as Tyler Reddick wins at Texas. The first race of the Round of 12 featured a lot of tire problems, struggles for the playoff contenders and a man who is fighting for a new road come up with a big win at a pivotal time.
TYLER REDDICK: NOT YOUR TYPICAL SPOILER
In the Round of 16, the spoilers were all drivers who hadn’t won yet this season. Austin Dillon, Bubba Wallace and Chris Buescher had all won in past season but were struggling in 2022. Reddick, on the other hand, made the playoffs. Unfortunately, he finished one position outside the Top 12 after last week’s race at Bristol. Then, it was announced Kyle Busch will be taking over his ride next season. Simply put, Reddick needed a break and he was one of the few to get one at Texas. Reddick led 70 laps en route to his third win of the season. He is under contract to Richard Childress Racing for one more season, but he may have just been auditioning for a new job and come up with a big day right when he needed it.
FLAT TIRES EVERYWHERE
There were 17 cautions at Texas on Sunday and the vast majority of them were due to tire malfunctions. Three drivers; Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick all crashed while leading when flat tires send their cars careening into the outside wall. NASCAR has a deal in place with Goodyear to provide tires for all the teams. Goodyear is going to have to take a long, hard look at their tires going forward after this dismal performance. You would have to go back to the tire debacle at the 2008 Brickyard 400 to see a worse tire performance.
TEXAS: WORST TRACK ON THE CIRCUIT
It pains me to say this as someone who used to attend the races at the Texas Motor Speedway, but it is currently the worst track on the Sprint Cup circuit. It’s not the track’s fault that Goodyear supplied a terrible tire, but the racing at Texas has been disappointing for a while now. The track has always had troubles. The very first Cup race at the track featured a massive crash on the very first lap. Officials have been trying to make Texas a track for the future ever since. While there has been some good racing there at times, the most recent track reconfiguration completely wiped that out. Many drivers say the best thing for Texas Motor Speedway would be to bulldoze it and start over. And I think they are correct.
Here’s a look at the playoff standings after the first race of the Round of 12:
- Joey Logano
- Ross Chastain
- William Byron
- Kyle Larson
- Ryan Blaney
- Denny Hamlin
- Daniel Suarez
- Chase Elliott
- Chase Briscoe
- Austin Cindric
- Christopher Bell
- Alex Bowman
The bottom four will be eliminated after the October 9th race at the Charlotte Roval. But, next up is Talladega, something that’s always a wild card in a playoffs full of wild cards.
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