Tyler Reddick optimistic after setback at Auto Club


Tyler Reddick couldn’t have asked for much more out of himself and his team Sunday at Auto Club Speedway.

Reddick won both stages and led a race-high 90 laps (before Sunday, he’d led 73 laps in his Cup career). His No. 8 Richard Childress Racing pit crew was also solid throughout the day.

But it all came undone on Lap 152 when Reddick lost a left-rear tire while leading. Moments later, William Byron hit Reddick as he attempted to avoid him.

Reddick stayed in the race but finished one lap down in 24th.

Even so, he sounded an optimistic note on social media later that night.

That same mood was evident in Reddick’s interview Monday afternoon on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

“(Sunday) just speaks volumes to where everyone’s mindset is at, where we’re trying to put ourselves and how we were able to make the most out of the offseason that we had,” he said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of new things coming into this year with this new car, and I really feel like everyone’s done a very good job this offseason of preparing and getting ready.

“I was really happy for my pit crew to see them show off like they did and do great work – just as anyone would be, you know? I was motivated, but you’re always a little bit concerned, like ‘Did we do the right things in this offseason? Was it enough? Are we approaching this the right way?’

“And so, to see them have the day that they did was really awesome for me to see. I’m really happy for them. They did a really good job.”

But there are still some questions unanswered from Sunday.

Reddick said it was “kind of difficult to say” what caused his flat tire, although he indicated that he’s settled on simply running something over during the preceding green flag run.

Before the tire blew, Reddick said he noticed something amiss for a lap but was busy racing for position against Erik Jones.

“It was coming on pretty aggressively, and it was definitely concerning,” Reddick said. “But thankfully, where it let go was able to allow us to slow down enough to not totally destroy the race car.

“Unfortunately, as we expected this race to be, it was a very challenging surface, these cars were hard to handle. It looked like William got a little bit loose underneath me trying to correct to give me a little extra space, and that’s where we got into trouble.”

Reddick also said he wasn’t sure why his leg went numb during the race.

The matter has caused him to look at his seat, particularly the insert he used at Auto Club and uses at other flat tracks.

Interestingly, he said he used that same insert in the Clash at the Coliseum and felt the same numbness in his leg.

However, in that instance, he thought it was because of other things, including not having his pedals where he wanted them inside the car.

With Auto Club in the rear view, Reddick says he and his team will work to solve the problem.

Meanwhile, he’s wondering – perhaps with tongue in cheek – if his own offseason workouts may have contributed.

“They pour the insert and it molds up around your body perfectly, and in the offseason, maybe, just losing a little bit of extra padding – a little bit of fat that I had in my glute, my lower back and in my buttocks area,” Reddick said.

“Now that I don’t have that, maybe that was just enough to where I need to kinda re-look at that and maybe get that re-poured. I’m not really sure at this moment but we’re figuring it out. We’re not gonna let it get us in the spot that we were (Sunday) again.”

COTA Xfinity Series results

COTA Xfinity results
Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

AJ Allmendinger led 28 of 46 laps Saturday to win the Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas for the second year in a row.

Allmendinger held off William Byron to score his first victory of the year and 16th in the Xfinity Series.

MORE: COTA Xfinity results

Ty Gibbs placed third and was followed by rookie Sammy Smith and Justin Allgaier.

Smith, Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, who placed sixth, and Sam Mayer, who finished seventh, will be eligible for the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash next weeked at Richmond after being the top four full-time Xfinity finishers Saturday.



AJ Allmendinger wins Xfinity race at COTA

AJ Allmendinger Xfinity COTA
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

AJ Allmendinger overcame damage from a restart to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

This is the second year in a row he has won this race. It is Allmendinger’s first victory of the season and 16th career Xfinity win.

MORE: COTA race results 

William Byron, driving for Hendrick Motorsports, finished second. Ty Gibbs placed third, Sammy Smith fourth and Justin Allgaier fifth.

Smith, Allgaier, sixth-place finisher Daniel Hemric and seventh-place finisher Sam Mayer — the top four full-time Xfinity drivers — will be eligible for the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus next week at Richmond Raceway.

Allmendinger won the first stage and then pitted. When a caution came out shortly, it put him 21st in the field. On the Lap 20 restart, his car suffered damage when he was hit going into Turn 1.

Allmendinger worked his way through the field and took the lead from Sheldon Creed on Lap 33 when they made contact and Creed spun. Creed fell back to 23rd and finished the 46-lap race in ninth.

Stage 1 winner: AJ Allmendinger

Stage 2 winner: Sheldon Creed

Who had a bad race: Austin Hill, who had won three of the first five races this season, had mechanical issues early and finished 37th in the 38-car field.

Next: The series races April 1 at Richmond Raceway (1 p.m. ET on FS1)

COTA Truck race results: Zane Smith wins


Reigning series champion Zane Smith won Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas for the second year in a row.

The victory is Smith’s second of this year.

MORE: COTA Truck race results

MORE: Truck points after COTA

Kyle Busch finished second and was followed by Ty Majeski, Tyler Ankrum and Ross Chastain.

The key moment came when Parker Kligerman‘s truck came to a stop on the frontstretch at Lap 28. Smith, running second, made it to pit road before it was closed. Busch, who was leading, had already passed pit road entrance.

Smith gained the lead with the move, while Busch had to pit under the caution and restarted 16th. Smith was able to build a lead and beat Busch by 5.4 seconds.

Stage 1 winner: Christian Eckes

Stage 2 winner: Kyle Busch

Who had a good race: Ty Majeski’s third-place finish is his best of the season. … Tyler Ankrum’s fourth-place finish is his best of the year. … Corey Heim has finished sixth two races in a row. … Rookie Nick Sanchez finished seventh, giving him back-to-back top 10s.

Who had a bad race: Parker Kligerman was running third when electrical issues forced him to stop on track just after the end of the second stage. … After winning the first stage, Christian Eckes had mechanical issues and had to pit for repairs, costing him several laps.

Notable: Front Row Motorsports has won the Truck COTA race all three years. Todd Gilliland won the race in 2021 and Zane Smith has won it the past two years.

Next: The series races April 1 at Texas Motor Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225
COTA winner Zane Smith’s truck catches fire after he did his burnout on the frontstretch. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

COTA Cup starting lineup


Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who has won two of the first five races of the season, will lead the Cup field to the green flag Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Byron will be joined on the front row of the starting lineup by Tyler Reddick, the only driver to win multiple races at road courses last year.

MORE: COTA Cup starting lineup

Austin Cindric starts third and is joined in the second row by Jordan Taylor, who is filling in for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 Hendrick car.

Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.