NASCAR at COTA: Reddick, Allmendinger, Smith rule the road

(Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service/MRN) Tyler Reddick prevailed in three NASCAR Overtime restarts to claim his first trophy of the year — and first with his new team, 23XI Racing, with a 1.411-second victory over two-time series champion Kyle Busch in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix — the NASCAR Cup Series‘ first road course race of the season.

It was a field of international champions and NASCAR‘s very best at the famed Circuit of The Americas course, but for most of the race, the outcome looked to be decided in a good ol’ Texas duel between the two fastest cars all weekend driven by Reddick and Hendrick Motorsports‘ William Byron. The pair exchanged the lead, lap after exciting lap for most of the afternoon.

And on the final two-lap restart, Reddick was able to put his No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota out front exiting Turn 1 – a tight left-hander – and power forward to the lead, while Busch and third-place finisher Alex Bowman, fourth-place finisher — and defending race winner – Ross Chastain and fifth-place Byron fought door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper as they chased after him.

Team Penske’s Austin Cindric, 2023 Daytona 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr., RFK Racing’s Chris Buescher, Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Ty Gibbs and Front Row Motorsports‘ Todd Gilliland rounded out the top 10.

Chastain takes over the championship lead by 19 points over Busch. Ty Gibbs, who finished ninth, continues to lead the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points standings.

For a complete recap of Sunday’s action, follow this link to MRN.com


(Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service/MRN) AJ Allmendinger started on the pole position and won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pit Boss 250 presented by USA Today on Saturday at the world-renowned Circuit of The Americas road course.

The 46 laps between the green and checkered flags, however, were dramatic and full of emotional highs and lows for the veteran Allmendinger, who led 14 laps to start the race and the final 14 laps to close it out. The series’ all-time road course winner earned his 11th road course trophy (and 16th career Xfinity Series victory) despite having to navigate through the field after falling back to 25th place during mid-race green flag pit stops.

NASCAR Cup Series rookie Ty Gibbs — the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion — finished third in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota, just ahead of his JGR teammate Sammy Smith and veteran JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier.

This was a Dash 4 Cash qualifying race, with the four top-finishing full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series competitors now eligible for a $100,000 bonus next week at Richmond Raceway; the top finisher among the four will earn the big paycheck and is eligible for another the following race on April 15 at Martinsville.

With their showings on Saturday, Sammy Smith, Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric and Sam Mayer are the four drivers who will race for the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash $100,000 in next week’s Call811 Before You Dig 250 at Richmond Raceway.

For a complete summary of Saturday’s race, follow this link.


(Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service/MRN) Zane Smith became the first repeat NASCAR winner at the famed Circuit of The Americas road course, the reigning series champion holding off veteran Kyle Busch to claim his second straight victory in Saturday‘s XPEL 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

The 23-year-old Californian‘s No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford led the final 15 laps — a race best 16 of the 42 laps in all — and crossed the finish line 5.451 seconds ahead of the two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Busch. The win makes Smith‘s Front Row Motorsports team a perfect 3-for-3 in Craftsman Truck Series races at COTA. Todd Gilliland won the 2021 inaugural event here.

Ford driver Ty Majeski, Toyota‘s Tyler Ankrum and last year‘s NASCAR Cup Series COTA winner, Ross Chastain, in a Chevrolet rounded out the top five.

It‘s the second victory of the year for Smith, who won the season-opener at Daytona, too — the same first two victories he earned in his 2022 championship season as well.

Corey Heim, rookie Nick Sanchez, Tanner Gray, Kaz Grala and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top 10. NASCAR has eliminated stage breaks at most road courses for the Truck and Xfinity Series in 2023, but both Christian Eckes — who ultimately finished 30th after mechanical problems — won Stage 1 (his third stage win of the year) and Busch won Stage 2.

The win Saturday was Smith‘s ninth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and puts him in the driver standings lead by two points on ThorSport Racing‘s Majeski heading into the next race.

You can read all about Saturday’s race by following this link.

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