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HomeSportsAuto RacingNAS News: Tyler Reddick navigates last-lap wreck to claim victory at Talladega

NAS News: Tyler Reddick navigates last-lap wreck to claim victory at Talladega

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With the iconic leaping image of team co-owner Michael Jordan on his hood and door, Tyler Reddick drove through a lane and slammed home his first 2024 win Sunday.

Reddick picked the right spot coming to the checkers and won the NASCAR Cup Series’ GEICO 500 on the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama.

Running fifth off the 2.66-mile superspeedway’s final turn, Reddick kept his No. 45 Camry on the high side as the front group roared toward the stripe.

Meanwhile up front, leader Michael McDowell came down to block second-place racer Brad Keselowski.

McDowell was turned up to the frontstretch wall after contact and Keselowski slowed, allowing Reddick to keep his foot in the gas and zoom on to his first win this season as the field slid and crashed behind him.

Reddick beat Keselowski by 0.208 seconds for his sixth career win and first at Talladega.

“That was chaos — that’s Talladega for you,” said Reddick, who led 13 laps. “I’ve got to give a lot of credit to Ty Gibbs and Martin Truex (Jr.). It was just us Toyotas left, and they pushed me with everything they had. … Without those pushes, we don’t win this race.”

23XI Racing’s Jordan enjoyed Reddick’s victory and was glad to see it in person.

“This is the first time I’ve been here (to see a win),” said Jordan, a six-time NBA champion and five-time league MVP. “This to me is like an NBA playoff game. … I’m all in. (NASCAR) replaces a lot of the competitiveness I had in basketball.”

It was the 33rd last-lap pass for a win in the superspeedway’s high-speed, dramatic history.

“Noah (Gragson) gave me a great push and I went to make a move on Michael,” Keselowski said. “He covered it and I went back the other way. I got another great push from Noah and there was nowhere to go when Michael came back down.”

It was also Toyota’s first win at the Alabama superspeedway since 2021.

The final top-finishers were Gragson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Alex Bowman.

The Fords of McDowell, Chase Briscoe and Justin Haley took turns leading early in Stage 1, but Truex’s No. 19 Toyota paced the group most of the way.

Austin Cindric’s No. 2 Ford edged Chase Elliott by 0.004 seconds for his second stage win of 2024.

Kyle Larson, who started last under penalty and lost a lap due to it, ran side-by-side with Joey Logano after the white flag in Stage 2, but Logano received a huge push from teammate Cindric to beat him and Austin Dillon to the checkers, earning the winless Logano his first stage win in 24 races.

With 56 laps to go, the first incident for cause occurred when the cars of Christopher Bell and Haley were part of a spin on the backstretch. Chase Elliott, the winner last week at Texas, narrowly squeezed past the minor melee.

A worse incident happened with just over 30 laps left when four of the six Toyotas on a promising strategy of pitting early wrecked in Turn 3.

Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, John Hunter Nemechek and Erik Jones all were knocked out of the event.

–Field Level Media

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