Updated: May 3
AUSTIN, Texas - After surviving three restarts in NASCAR Overtime and all the chaos that occurred, Tyler Reddick earned his fourth career NASCAR Cup Series win and first of the 2023 season with 23XI Racing in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.
In addition to dominating the majority of NASCAR's first trip to a road course in 2023, Reddick led 41 laps and stayed up front for most of the day although multiple cautions toward the end of the race threatened to ruin a strong performance that saw everything fall in Reddick's favor.
Despite Reddick not earning any stage points in Stage 1, due to the No. 45 Toyota coming down pit road with four laps to go, the 45's strategy allowed the team to win Stage 2 in commanding fashion and ultimately end up in victory lane.
"It means the world," Reddick said in a post-race interview with Fox Sports. "This whole 23XI team has been working so hard all winter long to make the road course program better. Was extremely motivated to come in here and prove that performance, too."
All four of Reddick's Cup wins have come within the past two seasons since NASCAR moved into the Next Gen era. During his three-year tenure as the driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, Reddick won three races last season (Road America, IMS Road Course, Texas), with two of those coming on road courses.
With the win at COTA, Reddick's Cup victories have come on road courses 75% of the time. In the Next Gen era, no other driver on the grid has won at a road course more than once (Ross Chastain, Daniel Suárez, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell) since the new car debuted in 2022.
Former 23XI Racing driver and last year's pilot of the No. 45 Toyota, Kurt Busch was emotional in the Fox Sports booth as he watched the car he was in last season claim Toyota's first points-paying victory of the season.
"It's forward together on this program," Busch said. "It brings me a little choked up. I was hoping to be back in that car but it's in good hands, and it's a great team and I love racing with those guys."
Another driver who was in contention for the entire race was pole-sitter William Byron. Although the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet finished fifth, Byron earned extra points by winning Stage 1. Byron has now accumulated four stage wins in the first six races of the season. Byron also led 28 laps during the race in Austin, Texas on Sunday afternoon.
The highest-finishing Chevrolet was Kyle Busch, who replaced Reddick in his old ride at RCR. Busch finished runner-up in both the Cup race and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday.
This second-place finish is his fourth top-10 of the season and he is only one of three drivers to finish inside the top-20 in every race this season. Those three drivers are Busch, Alex Bowman and Martin Truex Jr.
Other Race Facts
Out of 20 positions that handed out points between Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the 2023 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix, all 20 positions were occupied by 20 different drivers. Having a total of 20 different drivers earning stage points in a NASCAR Cup Series race is a sight that doesn't happen too often.
The first road course race of the 2023 season included drivers from multiple motorsport disciplines, including Formula 1 World Champions Jenson Button (18th) and Kimi Räikkönen (29th), multiple-time IMSA Champion Jordan Taylor (24th) and INDYCAR driver Conor Daly (36th). Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson also started the race but was involved in an incident on Lap 1 and finished 38th, failing to complete a single lap.
Reddick got Toyota's first points win of the year and second road course win of the Next Gen era. After Chevrolet won the first four races of the season, Ford won at Atlanta with Joey Logano and Toyota followed up Ford's win with a victory of its own.
According to statistician Trey Ryan, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s seventh-place finish at COTA is his first-ever top-10 finish on a road course in 32 starts.
Results from the 2023 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas are listed below.
The 2023 GRID Ranking will be the seventh year of the premier motorsport ranking in the world, and it will be released during the week of April 2.
Before the official ranking releases on the first Sunday of April, drivers in the seven racing series that participate in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) earn GRID Ratings, which help determine their initial seeding when the GRID Ranking releases.
For NASCAR, William Byron's lead in the GRID Rating increased to 10 points as Tyler Reddick doubled his total points from 25 to 50 after winning.
Here is the rest of the NASCAR Top-10 GRID Rating:
William Byron - 60
Tyler Reddick - 50
Christopher Bell - 48
Kyle Busch - 48
Alex Bowman - 46
Joey Logano - 44
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - 31
Kyle Larson - 30
Ross Chastain - 29
Ryan Blaney - 28
Out of the 10 current drivers in NASCAR's sixth GRID Rating, seven were in the pre-season poll completed by the members of GRID Network: Bell, Blaney, Busch, Chastain, Larson, Logano and Reddick.
The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series is on Sunday, April 2 at Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1.
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