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Reddick dominates at Indy road course

Tyler Reddick started on the pole and avoided wrecks and some Ross Chastain antics to grab his second career victory.

INDIANAPOLIS — Another NASCAR trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course for the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard was not decided until the final restart.

In last year's inaugural race at the circuit, A.J. Allmendinger won after Chase Briscoe dumped Denny Hamlin on the race's final restart following a move where he completely cut Turn 1 by driving through the grass.

A similar circumstance happened this time when Ross Chastain went completely off track to drive around Turn 1. The move put Chastain from around 5th to 1st as he looked to pull off a major upset.

But Tyler Reddick wouldn't allow it. Reddick worked carefully but quickly to get around Chastain and take his second win of the year on a day that he dominated.

"I'm really glad to be able to [win] here at Indianapolis," said Reddick following his win.

The closing calamity was caused by a bottleneck situation heading into the first turn with 2 laps to go where many drivers fought for position as the race restarted. The squeeze resulted in Allmendinger turning Ryan Blaney, who is still looking for his first win of the season.

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In an effort to avoid adding to the situation, Chastain made a daring move by driving through the access track before heading back to the race.

"I was trying not to be in the carnage in Turn 1. I thought we were four-wide there and knew I couldn't go anymore to the right," said Chastain. "[It was] pure reaction."

Chastain crossed the line 2nd but was slapped with a 30-second penalty that sent him back to 27th. Austin Dillon, who did the same thing, was given the same penalty and credited with 30th.

Chastain's penalty gave Austin Cindric a 2nd place finish. Harrison Burton finished 3rd, Todd Gilliland finished 4th, and Bubba Wallace finished 5th. For Burton and Gilliland, it's the first Top 5 of their rookie careers. 

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The prelude to these events started with six laps to go on Lap 77 when Christopher Bell blew a tire and littered debris on the racetrack.

The ensuing restart was short-lived. Chase Elliott and William Byron spun in Turn 1 before Martin Truex Jr. hit Dillon around further down the track. The contact forced Dillion into a gravel trap where he got stuck, prompting another caution that led to the race's final restart.

Reddick patiently maintained his composure and the lead through most of it all. He led a race-high 39 laps after starting on the pole for the event.

One of his few challengers was Blaney, who led 12 laps as he continues searching for a playoff-clinching victory in what overall has been a good year for him.

Another notable event happened on Lap 61 when Kyle Larson lost control of his breaks and headed full speed into the side of Ty Dillon as he entered Turn 1. The collision caused Larson to get airborne and ended both drivers' days. 

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This is NASCAR's second try at the Indianapolis Road Course. NASCAR raced on the track's traditional configuration from 1994 to 2020 before switching things up in response to dwindling attendance at the event.

Reddick's win elevates him to 8th in the projected playoff standings with four races remaining in the regular season. 

Elliott continues to lead the standings on the back of his four wins this year. At the bottom of the playoff bracket is Truex, who sits 96 points ahead of Kevin Harvick.

Next week, NASCAR heads to the Michigan International Speedway for the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, Aug. 7.

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