Tyler Reddick came out on top in the PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway. In what became NASCAR’s version of ‘Survivor’ with a new record of five overtimes, he battled his JR Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet against a very determined Elliott Sadler for the win.
In the fifth overtime, Reddick and Sadler came to the checkers in a photo finish with Reddick taking the win. This would be the closest margin of victory at .000 in the NASCAR National Series history.
Reddick, in his debut with JR Motorsports, collected his first win for his new team and his second career win.
Reddick stated, “It feels amazing! He added, “This is a helluva way to start the year off at JR Motorsports.”
Reddick is also running for Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this year.
A frustrated Sadler finished in second place, his third runner-up finish at Daytona.
Sadler commented, “It’s just a hard one to swallow (today) this has been a special place for us for a long time.” He continued, “We’ve had some good runs here just seem to always finish second, I’ve got a lot of seconds here but no wins so we just…it’s frustrating.”
Compared to what would come later, the first stage was relatively calm. The only exception would be one caution that involved a total of eight cars. Kyle Larson and Joey Logano would swap the lead several times, but it would be Larson that would win the first stage.
Stage 2 would be the only stage to go green flag all the way. Larson, again, would be up front. But this time Chase Elliott would be right there with him and come out ahead, winning the second stage.
The final stage of the race is where the excitement would escalate, along with impatience. Sadler and Elliott would end up with a penalty for locking bumpers and pushing which is against the rules in the XFINITY series. Ryan Reed was penalized for pushing Ryan Truex down under the yellow line, a penalty he wasn’t happy with and didn’t think he deserved.
Cautions breed cautions they say and that is just what happened. The front-runners including Logano, Larson and Elliott all managed to make it through the cautions and stayed up front.With three laps to go Sadler would end up going for a spin through the grass and this would put us into the first overtime of the race.
The first overtime restart would be where the front-runners’ luck ran out. Larson, who was the leader, tried to block Aric Almirola and chaos erupted with cars spinning everywhere. This would shake up the lineup and put drivers like Reddick, Truex, and Reed into position to go for the win. It would take four more overtime starts before the winner, Reddick, would be declared.
Kaz Grala, Garrett Smithley, Spencer Gallagher, Daniel Suarez, Ross Chastain and Brandon Jones also survived the carnage to finish in the top 10.
The XFINITY Series heads next to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 24, for the Rinnai 250.