KANSAS CITY, Kan. - After a picture-perfect final restart at Kansas Speedway, 23XI Racing's Tyler Reddick drove the No. 45 Toyota to Victory Lane for the second time in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season after winning the Hollywood Casino 400.
Reddick clinched his spot in the Round of 12, advancing in the playoffs. In the Next Gen era, this marks the fourth straight Kansas win for a Toyota, a 23XI driver in the No. 45 or the team's car owner.
"It was perfect honestly, we had a really, really good MoneyLion Toyota Camry TRD all day long," Reddick said. "Everyone at 23XI – when we come here, we mean business. We didn’t have the outright pace that I think Bubba (Wallace) and Denny (Hamlin) had. At times, we were pretty solid, but we were just caught behind them."
Reddick's boss Hamlin and his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota had speed all day long and wound up finishing in second place behind the car he owns. In fact, this marks Hamlin's second consecutive year crossing the start/finish line in the runner-up position in the Kansas fall race to a 23XI Toyota.
Since 2022, Hamlin has finished first, second (twice) and fourth at Kansas. The 48 points that Hamlin earned in the Sunflower State will give him a 49-point cushion heading into the final Round of 16 race next Saturday night at Bristol.
When asked about the final restart, Hamlin said he relied too much on the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Kyle Larson to give him a push. The JGR driver believes he should have been more focused on everything happening in front of him instead.
"It gave the 45 an opportunity to get up there in front of us," Hamlin said. "Just kind of sleeping on the restart, looking in the rearview instead of looking in the front. Hats off to the Yahoo Camry TRD team, just another really, really fast car, just didn't need that caution at the end.”
Erik Jones and the Legacy Motor Club No. 43 Chevrolet finished in third place, earning the team's first top-five finish under its new name.
"You want to be frustrated, but you have to be happy with the run," Jones said. "All day, the No. 43 Allegiant Chevy was fast and we were up in contention. We were able to drive through the field a handful of times, so it was a good day.
"That was probably the fastest car we’ve had all year. We would have loved to get one there, but our year has been up and down and having a good run like that is just a good day for the team.”
Results from the 2023 Hollywood Casino 400 from Kansas Speedway are listed below.
Other Race Facts
Many of the playoff contenders had trouble, including the Toyotas of Bubba Wallace and Martin Truex Jr. Wallace finished second in Stage 1 and led three laps before blowing out a right-rear tire from second place. Wallace finished 32nd and 19 points below the cutline, entering the Round of 16 cutoff race at Bristol.
Regular Season Champion Truex Jr. had early trouble after the No. 19 Toyota also blew out a tire on Lap 4. He finished last (36th) and left Kansas seven points below the cutline, despite coming into the playoffs with 36 playoff points.
"Just unfortunate and very unlucky," Truex Jr. said. "I took off really tight and I knew something was up, and then cut a right rear. Not really sure what happened, obviously, but it blew in the worst place possible.
"I hate it for my guys. We had an awesome Bass Pro Toyota Camry. We were going to have a great day, just not sure what we need to do to get some luck here.”
The other two drivers below the cutline are Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (-22) and Michael McDowell (-40).
The 2023 GRID Ranking is the seventh year of the world's premier motorsport ranking and was initially released on Sunday, April 2.
Drivers in the seven racing series participating in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) have earned GRID Ratings, which helped determine their seeding during Week 23 of the 2023 GRID Ranking.
MOST RECENT FINISH
Martin Truex Jr.
Week 24 of the GRID Ranking:
The third and final race in the Round of 16 will take place at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 16. Coverage of the Bass Pro Shops Night Race begins on USA Network at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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