BRISTOL, Tenn.— Tyler Reddick won a wild one at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday.
Justin Allgaier led 131 laps in the Food City 300 but cut a tire and hit the wall with 11 laps remaining.
Reddick capitalized on Allgaier’s misfortune to claim his first win at Thunder Valley.
“Hell yeah,” Reddick said. “That’s crazy.”
Crazy doesn’t begin to describe Friday’s action. Only six drivers remained on the lead lap at the end of the race. Reddick led Briscoe to the finish line by .655-seconds for his fourth win in 2019. John Hunter Nemechek finished third followed by Jeremy Clements, pole-sitter Austin Cindric and Gray Gaulding.
After failing inspection four times, Reddick not only started from the rear of the field but had to serve a pass-through penalty after the green flag fell. When Mason Diaz wrecked on the backstretch, Reddick was the lucky dog and started his assent.
Reddick’s fellow Big 3 drivers—Cole Custer and Christopher Bell—were tangled in a wreck on Lap 36 after Matt Mills slowed and the No. 00 checked up to miss him but hit the wall instead. Erik Jones and Joey Logano were also caught up in the melee. The Cup drivers parked their cars.
Kyle Busch took the lead from Cindric on the first laps and 59 laps prior to pitting. Reddick worked his way to the front and was challenging Allgaier for the lead on Lap 82 when he spun in Turn 4 attempting to make the pass. Brandon Jones went on to win the first stage on Lap 85.
Busch took the lead from Noah Gragson on Lap 94. The second stage was delayed by a four-minute and four-second red flag after Ronnie Basset Jr. hit the wall in Turn 2 on Lap 120. Busch led 78 laps and won Stage 2—then reported his engine expired.
“No, it just all of a sudden started about five, six laps before the stage ended,” Busch said. “Coming off the turn I got back into the gas and it broke and just tried to limp it home and that was all she had. Tough day for our Juniper Supra. It was really, really fast. It was really, really good. We’re always good here, so it’s nice to have a solid run, but man, these guys have had a bad month and I was hoping to get them a win to get them back in the owner’s deal, but it was just not meant to be. We’ll try again tomorrow.”
Allgaier assumed the lead on lap 171 followed by Cindric, Nemechek, Jones, Briscoe, Annett, Ryan Sieg, Jeremy Clements and Gray Gaulding. When Annett hit the wall in Turn 2 on Lap 222, Reddick, Briscoe and Nemechek pitted for tires—a safe strategy with just 11 cars remaining on the lead lap.
Although Allgaier appeared to be in command during the second half of the race, he cut a tire on Lap 289 and turned over the lead to Reddick.
“I don’t even think the word disappointment begins to describe not just this race but this year,” said Allgaier, who finished eighth, two laps off the pace. “This place, this place used to be my favorite place to come and race. He just said we led 329 laps led in two races and nothing to show for it. This one is going to hurt for a while.”
Reddick held on for his seventh-career Xfinity Series win. He extended his points lead to 54 over Bell. When asked how he recovered twice for the victory, the 23-year-old driver of the No. 2 Tame the BEAST Chevrolet replied, “I don’t know. I thought we made the wrong adjustment on the last (pit) stop, but we had a really fast Chevrolet. We had fresher tires than Justin Allgaier there. We came down pit road and we were just too tight and I thought we were done for.
“I don’t know what happened. Everything just happened at the right spot. I fell back to fourth, and Jones hit the fence and then (Allgaier) had some sort of issue. As you can see, I’m speechless. I couldn’t believe what was happening.”