By Bob Pockrass
FOX Sports NASCAR Writer
INDIANAPOLIS — Tyler Reddick could feel the pressure when he restarted from the lead twice in the waning laps Sunday on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
But handling pressure, or at least being uncomfortable, is something that Reddick has been used to the last several weeks.
Just 19 days after he announced he would leave Richard Childress Racing following the 2023 season, Reddick captured his second Cup victory of the season in a race with a wild finish where Ross Chastain cut the course and crossed the finish line second but was penalized 30 seconds for the move.
“There was a lot of stressful things that took place,” Reddick said. “I’m so committed to my guys. We feel like a band of brothers. We go on the road, and we have each other’s backs.”
Takeaways from Tyler Reddick’s victory:
Tyler Reddick wins in WILD overtime finish at Indy
Tyler Reddick wins in wild overtime finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway over Ross Chastain and Austin Cindric.
Reddick-Childress still frosty
Team owner Richard Childress is still miffed that Reddick told him less than an hour before announcing his move 23XI Racing, giving Childress little time to notify sponsors and work with them about sponsoring Reddick in his final year. When faced a similar situation a decade ago with Kevin Harvick, while word leaked before they wanted to announce, Harvick and Childress made the announcement months after the decision.
“Any time you win at Indy, it’s great,” Childress said afterward. “Kevin Harvick and I sat down talking about that he was leaving and made a joint press conference and this didn’t happen like that.
“We won four races with Harvick and almost won the championship. We have a heck of a shot [to do it here].”
Childress said Reddick will drive for RCR next season but also hasn’t talked much to his driver since the announcement.
“He likes kissing the bricks,” Reddick said about the traditional Indy celebration. “And I’m glad I gave him another opportunity. … From now until I leave, I’m doing everything I can to win races.”
Richard Childress speaks on relationship with Tyler Reddick
Maybe only Richard Childress can say something to indicate he’s still miffed at his driver but also that he has a “heck of a shot” to win a Cup title.
Chastain said move not premeditated
Chastain said he didn’t use the access road with the idea to advance his position and be able to battle for the lead. He said he misunderstood the rule.
“It’s their call,” Chastain said. “It’s their sandbox. I thought I knew the rule and I thought I abided by the rule. I didn’t do it maliciously. I didn’t do it preemptively.
“With three cars to my right and everybody running into each other, I couldn’t see how we would make it and was going to be in the grass.
NASCAR’s driver instructions video for the race said that cutting the course in Turn 1 (and other turns) would result in a stop-and-go penalty, and if it was not served because of how late in the race it was, then it would be a 30-second penalty.
Ross Chastain on utilizing the access road in overtime
Ross Chastain said he thought he followed the rules and that his options on the turn were to go in the grass or use the access road.
It did cause some concern for Reddick on how hard to race Chastain at the end as Austin Cindric was ready to pounce on both from behind.
“I didn’t know if I need to race him or not,” Reddick said “[Cindric] was right there. I had to be careful. … [His penalty] was not confirmed. What if he doesn’t, and I stay back here behind him, and he ends up winning the race?
“It was really stressful.”
Chastain was credited with a 27th-place finish.
Busch misses second race
Kurt Busch missed a second consecutive race for concussion-type symptoms following a crash eight days earlier at Pocono Raceway.
Busch has a waiver to the requirement that playoff drivers must compete in every race, and Reddick winning was good for Busch when it comes to him potentially making the playoffs.
There are 14 winners with four races left in the regular season. If there are more than 16 winners, the driver with one win who has the fewest regular-season points does not make the playoffs.
Having missed two races, Busch now has the fewest points of any driver with one win and sits 30 points behind Chase Briscoe.
Bob Pockrass has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports in 2019 following stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass. Looking for more NASCAR content? Sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass!
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