NASCAR Hollywood Casino 400 results: Tyler Reddick takes the playoff win at Kansas with daring three-wide move

After a late-race caution created three different tire strategies at the front of the field, Tyler Reddick used four fresh tires to make a daring three-wide pass for the lead at the white flag en route to winning the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. Reddick's win is his second of the 2023 season, the fifth of his Cup Series career, and it advances him to the Round of 12 in the NASCAR playoffs.

Reddick had been running a distant second to Denny Hamlin with seven laps to go before Chris Buescher blew a tire, bringing out a caution that jumbled the running order after Daniel Suarez opted to stay out on old tires while Erik Jones, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch took two tires on their final pit stop.

As Jones and Logano ran side-by-side coming to the white flag, Reddick gained a massive run on the exit of Turn 4 and dove to the inside of both of them, clearing them by the entry to Turn 1 and allowing him to get back to the checkered flag first before Hamlin could run him down.

Reddick's win came in the 100th race for 23XI Racing, and the company's No. 45 car has now won three of the last four races at Kansas. Reddick joins Kurt Busch (spring 2022) and Bubba Wallace (fall 2022) in having taken the No. 45 to victory lane at Kansas.

"We had really good pace, but just couldn't get ahead of Denny there. But chaos ensued, people stayed out, some took two tires, and the bottom lane opened up. Pretty crazy," Reddick told NBC Sports. "Four fresh tires and sitting in there and slide up. Just hats off, like I said, to everybody at 23XI. This Toyota Camry TRD had a lot of pace, and we've had really fast cars with this MoneyLion scheme, and it's really great to get it back to Victory Lane."

Hollywood Casino 400 unofficial results

  1. #45 - Tyler Reddick
  2. #11 - Denny Hamlin
  3. #43 - Erik Jones
  4. #5 - Kyle Larson
  5. #22 - Joey Logano
  6. #9 - Chase Elliott
  7. #8 - Kyle Busch
  8. #20 - Christopher Bell
  9. #6 - Brad Keselowski
  10. #48 - Alex Bowman

A terrible turn for Truex

After starting third at the drop of the green flag, regular season champion Martin Truex Jr. began to drop back almost instantly and had fallen outside the top 10 by Lap 4. Then, going down the backstretch, Truex's race went from an inauspicious start to over in a couple hundred yards.

A punctured right rear tire on Truex's car blew out entering Turn 3, sending him into the wall and causing severe damage that ended Truex's race only four laps in. The crash led to Truex finishing 36th, which has put the 2017 Cup champion in a relatively dire position entering next Saturday's elimination race at Bristol. Despite having won the regular season championship, a rough race at Darlington coupled with Sunday's disaster has left Truex seven points below the cut line.

Since NASCAR began to acknowledge a regular season champion in 2017, the regular season champion has never been eliminated from the playoffs in the Round of 16. But an extreme change of fortune has created a very, very difficult situation for Truex.

"Really unfortunate, very unlucky," Truex told NBC Sports. "It took off really tight, I knew something was up, and then blew a right rear. Not really sure what happened. Obviously it blew in the worst place possible. ... We had an awesome race car, we were gonna have a really good day. Just not real sure what we need to do to get some luck right now."

By all metrics, Truex's tire failure was a complete catastrophe. But another playoff driver among the Toyotas also ended up being due for disaster.

Bubba Wallace, the defending winner of Kansas' fall race, had one of the fastest cars in the field and was running second when he blew a right rear tire in Turns 1 and 2, sending him into the wall and bending the right rear toe link on his car. Wallace would manage to keep running, but he would lose many laps as his crew fixed his car and was forced to limp home in 32nd, four laps down.

After finishing second in Stage 1, Wallace had been in position to gain even more points and potentially contend for the win himself. Instead, Wallace now enters Bristol 19 points below the cut line, joining Truex, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (-22) and Michael McDowell (-40) on the outside looking in.

William Byron also had problems during the day, as his car was never quite right again after he spun out midway through the race while running inside the top five. Byron would salvage a 15th-place finish and remains 41 points above the cut line, but Chris Buescher's blown tire would prove very costly for him. Buescher ended up finishing a lap down in 27th, and he is now just 13 points above the cut line.

Arguing over space

Hendrick Motorsports showed out well at Kansas, with Kyle Larson leading the most laps (99) before finishing fourth while Chase Elliott led 47 laps and finished sixth. But the final round of pit stops prior to overtime would see the two teammates have a wedge driven in-between them as the two were squeezed together.

As they left pit road, Larson and Elliott ended up in the middle of four-wide, with Larson having to move over into Elliott in order to keep from colliding with Brad Keselowski as the No. 6 exited his pit stall. Elliott -- seemingly not understanding the situation -- took immediate exception, swiping at Larson's car as the two drove from pit exit back to the flat.

While both still wound up with good finishes, Larson found himself having to smooth things over in post-race as Elliott came over to discuss what occurred.

"I'm trying to leave as much space as I can, (Keselowski's) coming out into the lane quickly because the No. 6 wants to slow us down -- I tried to leave as much space as I could," Larson told NBC Sports. "Obviously I made contact with (Elliott), but I felt like if I didn't I was gonna clobber the No. 6 right in the right front. I thought the safest bet for all of us was for me to squeeze out a little bit.

"I understand why he was mad in the moment. I hope when he sees the replay he understands that I didn't have any space, or not much -- just inches. Just a bummer, but I'm glad that neither of us got torn up there."

The playoff picture

Tyler Reddick's victory ensures that he will join Kyle Larson in the Round of 12, leaving 10 spots still available in the next round of the playoffs. Denny Hamlin (+49), William Byron (+41), Brad Keselowski (+33), Ryan Blaney (+25) and Kyle Busch (+24) all enjoy somewhat comfortable advantages over the cut line, while Ross Chastain (+18), Chris Buescher (+13), Christopher Bell (+13) and Joey Logano (+12) all have some breathing room to speak of.

Kevin Harvick (+7) currently holds the final spot above the cut line over Martin Truex Jr. (-7), and Truex, Bubba Wallace (-19) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (-22) still seem to have varying degrees of feasible shots at advancing on points. Michael McDowell (-40) is likely in a must-win scenario after a crash at Darlington and a pit strategy at Kansas that did not work.

Race results rundown

  • Even before he almost played spoiler with a two-tire strategy, Erik Jones enjoyed one of his strongest runs of the season and was a fixture in the top 10 before eventually finishing a season-best third. It's Jones' first top five of the entire season, and it's also his first top five since he won the Southern 500 in 2022.
  • If Joey Logano wins back-to-back Cup championships, crew chief Paul Wolfe's decision to have Logano take just two tires on his final stop could very well be a big part of the reason why. Logano was running outside the top 10 and was just two points above the cut line when the final caution came out, but he instead came home with a fifth-place finish and a much more comfortable points cushion entering Bristol.
  • While it's counteracted by a 23rd-place finish at Watkins Glen and last week's crash at Darlington, Alex Bowman continues to improve in the results column. A 10th-place finish marked Bowman's third top 10 in his last four races after a long stretch of races where he had failed to record a top 10 following his injury in the springtime.
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained: Daniel Suarez led a handful of laps holding out before making his last green flag pit stop, then opted to stay out on 30-lap old tires to lead on the final restart. Suarez fell like a rock on old tires, but still managed a 16th-place finish.
  • Once again, Carson Hocevar looked like he belonged in a Cup car. The Craftsman Truck Series standout finished 20th in his second race with Legacy Motor Club, giving the team's No. 42 car as many top 20 finishes as they had with Noah Gragson prior to his departure from the team in August.
  • 2020 Craftsman Truck Series champion Sheldon Creed made his Cup Series debut on Sunday, and the Alpine, California native did his job as the driver of the No. 78 for Live Fast Motorsports. Creed had a trouble-free race and took home a 29th-place finish in his first Cup start.

Next race

The Round of 16 elimination race comes in the most iconic of all of NASCAR's night races, the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Coverage begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on USA Network with streaming on fubo (try for free).

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Tyler Reddick takes Jones and Logano three-wide, and Reddick gets the lead at the white flag! Jones holds up Denny Hamlin just long enough, and that's what's going to do it!

Tyler Reddick wins at Kansas and advances to the Round of 12!

1 - #45 - Tyler Reddick
2 - #11 - Denny Hamlin
3 - #43 - Erik Jones
4 - #5 - Kyle Larson
5 - #22 - Joey Logano
6 - #9 - Chase Elliott
7 - #8 - Kyle Busch
8 - #20 - Christopher Bell
9 - #6 - Brad Keselowski
10 - #48 - Alex Bowman

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Logano to the bottom, three-wide! Jones fights back on the outside as Suarez plummets through the field!

Here comes Reddick on fresh tires! White flag!

 
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Now here's something: Daniel Suarez, who ran long under green and last pitted at Lap 231, stayed out and is the new race leader. Erik Jones, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano will restart second, third and fourth after taking just two tires.

Two non-playoff drivers trying to steal the show like Bubba Wallace did last year. Two playoff drivers trying to get better finishes than they otherwise would have. And then, you've got the whole rest of the field behind them on four fresh tires.

Suarez chooses the bottom lane and Erik Jones chooses the top. Overtime in Kansas coming up.

 
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Two tire stops for Erik Jones, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano! They're the top three coming off pit road as Denny Hamlin is the first car out who took four tires.

Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott got put in the middle of four wide coming off pit road, and Elliott took exception to it as he and Larson went from the exit of pit road to the flat.

 
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Everyone in the Top 20 -- except William Byron -- has at least one more set of tires remaining. We're setting up for about a two lap shootout. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

Pits are open.

 
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CAR IN THE WALL! IT'S CHRIS BUESCHER!

He's blown a right rear tire in Turns 1 and 2 AND THE CAUTION IS OUT WITH SEVEN LAPS TO GO! That ends the longest green flag run of the day, and this changes everything.

 
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J.J. Yeley has fallen out of the race. Not certain what the issue was on the No. 15, but he had been on pit road and his team had been working on his car as Daniel Suarez was making his stop. That matters because that allows Bubba Wallace to pick up another spot and another point while running five laps down.

Denny Hamlin is on cruise control. 2.5 second lead with 10 laps to go.

 
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Michael McDowell finally gives up and comes to pit road with 17 laps left. Four tires and fuel, and a lot of track position and points lost for the driver of the No. 34.

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