NASCAR Cup Series drivers raced at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the second time on July 31. Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Riddick won a race featuring fires, wrecks and cool rookies.
The No. 8 Chevrolet driver had one of the best cars in the field on July 31, which he drove on 38 of the 86 laps. He survived several reboots and stopped Ross Chastain during his final two-lap dash to the checkered flag. This win was Reddick’s second of the season, and it was the first time since 2013 that a Richard Childress Racing driver had won multiple races in a single season.
Reddick’s second win was a major talking point, and so was the lineup of drivers who finished second, third and fourth. Rookie Austin Sendrick recorded his best result since winning the Daytona 500 that kicked off the 2022 season. Harrison Burton was third with his first five positions in his career, while Todd Gilliland finished fourth with his first five career.
Per Dustin Albino of Jayski, This was only the second time in Cup Series history that three starters scored in the top five in the same race. It was his first time at Pocono Raceway during the 1994 season. Ward Burton finished second, Joe Nemeczyk finished third, and Jeff Burton finished fourth.
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Equally big story is the driver who finished fifth day overall. Bubba Wallace entered the race over the weekend with 18 career cup series that started in on-road laps and didn’t finish in the top ten. He cut that streak in a major way by posting his career debut in the Top 10 and first five of his career on the Cup Series Road Course.
2 drivers caught fire in their cars
There have been several Ford Performance drivers who have put in solid performances with top 10 ranks on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two of them also achieved this goal while dealing with fire and smoke.
RFK Racing’s Chris Buescher had to make an unscheduled stop during the first stage due to a large fire inside the No. 17 Ford Mustang. The team put out the fire, but had to continue work on the car while Boecher dealt with smoke and poor visibility.
Buescher fell twice while the team was working on his #17 Ford, and finished the first two stages outside the top 30. However, he got back to the first lap with less than 20 laps remaining. He worked his way through the carnage on multiple reboots and finished in 10th place.
Joey Logano, Team 22 driver for Pinske Ford, also had to quickly get out of his car due to a fire. Although the accident occurred after he crossed the finish line at the end of the race. Lugano finished the sixth day overall before stopping on the track with smoke rising from the interior.
2 drivers received penalties in overtime
While Reddick celebrated his victory, NASCAR made a big announcement. Officials said they evaluated Chastain and Austin Dillon’s 30-second penalties for skipping Turn 1 with his massive collisions and using the access road to get back on the track.
The kick had an even greater impact on Chastain’s day. He was leading in overtime before eventually finishing second behind Riddick. This would have led to a solid day of points, but Chastain instead slipped back to 27 after taking the penalty.
Dillon, for comparison, was not in contention for the win. He raced near the middle of the set during the final round of two laps to the checkered flag before receiving the penalty. Dillon and Team #3 dropped to 30th overall at the end of the day.
The two drivers sit in very different positions with four races remaining in the regular season. Chastain has two wins and a safe place in the playoffs. Dillon is well below the cut-off line and in a must-win position.
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