With race-ending caution, Reddick falls short on dirt once again

Gavin Baker/Motorsport Images

With race-ending caution, Reddick falls short on dirt once again


With race-ending caution, Reddick falls short on dirt once again


Tyler Reddick paused a post-race interview to go stop Christopher Bell before the latter made his way to victory lane at Bristol Motor Speedway, wanting to congratulate Bell on his victory and also lament what could have been had Sunday’s race run to completion.

“Wish we would have had that extra half lap,” Reddick said of their conversation. “Me and him both didn’t know how it was really going to end.”

Reddick finished second to Bell in the Food City Dirt Race, his chance at taking a shot at the win stymied when the caution flew on the final lap. The two Toyota drivers were each dominant throughout the night, with Bell leading the final 100 laps.

But Reddick, running up against the fence, had closed the gap at the white flag.

“It was like having some PTSD there but reversed,” he chuckled.

A year ago in the dirt race, Reddick was the one being chased on the final lap. Chase Briscoe ended up taking them both out in Turn 3 – handing the win to Kyle Busch – when he attempted a slide job that went wrong.

“I feel like Christopher probably would have done a better job defending it than I did last year,” Reddick said. “But we raced really, really hard there at the end. When (Ryan) Blaney spun, I was pretty convinced the caution was going to come out; I kind of checked up, he did too, and he got back going better than I did and got a gap. I just needed to close the gap and didn’t.”

Blaney was spun off the race’s final restart with eight laps to go. Somehow the field avoided Blaney, who was running inside the top five, and the caution never flew.

With a smile, Bell said Reddick told him that, “It was going to be interesting if the yellow flag didn’t come out.”

Did Reddick have a move ready had the final lap gone the distance?

“I don’t know if it’d been a good one,” he said. “I honestly think (Bell) would have defended it. I don’t know if he knew the caution was out, so that’s why he went to the bottom, or if that was going to be his defensive line, which — if you’re in his situation — that was the move to make.

“We’ll never really know, but I was going to go for it, for sure.”

Reddick earned 13 points in the stages, including winning the second stage. He led 69 of the race’s 250 laps.