Hard to get more patriotic than seeing the ‘ol No. 8 Chevy’ back in Victory Lane.
Happy Birthday, America!
Tyler Reddick eventually threw aside his bridesmaid hat and said the Cup Series “I do” won for the first time in his 92nd start and after five runner-up finishes.
He also did it on a road course, and by beating someone named Elliott, who is damn good at those places… I hear.
“I know he was super close to that first win, and I went down that road and it can be a tough one. I’m happy for those guys. They deserve it,” said Chase Elliott after a dominant, but disappointing, road race. America afternoon.
“I didn’t do very well there,” continued Clyde. “I just let him stay close enough to put pressure on me there, when we had good tires and could never get enough of a hole. I just made a few mistakes.”
Tyler Reddick defeats dominant Chase Elliott
We’ll come back to Chase in a moment, but first… you did it, Tyler!
Someone (cough cough) in these spaces has been saying for months that it was only a matter of time before Reddick uncorked the champagne, and everything fell into place on Sunday.
Reddick was the only driver who could stay in the same time zone as Elliott (seriously, look at the gap back to third!), passing Chase halfway through the final stage to secure the win.
“It’s starting to sink in,” Reddick said a few hours after the win. “The nice thing about it is that the hard work you put into it is what you get out of it. Especially the last two years I knew road courses were a weakness for me, and when I say weakness I mean we struggled around the 30s, honestly.
“It was just a huge sense of relief.”
Tyler Reddick puts the number 8 of Dale Earnhardt Jr. back in Victory Lane
Very visual too.
This was the first time the No. 8 machine had returned to Victory Lane since Dale Jr. won at Richmond… in 2006.
That’s not the only Junior connection in this win, either.
Recall that Earnhardt put Reddick in a JR Motorsports car in 2018 and Reddick paid him back by winning the whole thing a few months later.
Reddick took back-to-back Xfinity titles the following year before moving on to full-time Cup racing, then had to go through nearly 100 starts and five runner-up finishes before finally putting the RCR machine in Victory Lane.
Speaking of RCR…
“I told him this morning he would win and we made it happen,” owner Richard Childress said after the race.
All right then. What are the lottery numbers, Richard?!
Chase Elliott on the future of racing: ‘That’s the way we’re going’
Now that all the feel-good stuff is out of the way, let’s throw a little wet towel over everything before we look ahead…
Yes, that race was a snoozer.
Chase was checked out all afternoon until Reddick closed the gap late. There were zero natural warnings and very few passes.
So, was it an anomaly or a sign of things to come? Well, since you asked…
“These cars are very aero sensitive and that’s even more true today – even more than last year’s car,” Elliott said. “Every car will become the same from manufacturer to manufacturer. And when that happens, track position will become increasingly important.
“It’s just motorsport these days. Aero is huge, and you can’t unlearn it, so that’s the way we’re going.”
Martin Truex Jr. sums up frustrating day for Toyotas
Since there wasn’t much action after the late battle up front, we don’t have much to report in our annual “Angry Radio Chatter” segment this week.
We got this gem of an exchange between Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief James Small:
“You put me in these situations. Do not get angry. Calm down.’
Nice and spicy.
Truex, by the way, finished 13th and was the best performing Toyota. Come on guys. You are better than that!
Anyway, on to Atlanta Motor Speedway, which should be hot, fast, slick and definitely more exciting than Road America.
Remember, we had 46 head turns at this spot in the spring, leading to one of my favorite Kyle Busch media exchanges of the season.
Question 1: Does this kind of racing make you more of an entertainer than a driver?
Question 2: Do you like this version of Atlanta better than the old one?
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Chase Elliott has a warning, Reddick pops cherry, Martin Truex gets fussy