Tyler Reddick knee the opportunity at hand. He had to win Saturday nights Coke Zero Sugar 400 at the Daytona International Speedway if he wanted to be a part of the NASCAR Cup Series’ postseason.
Reddick, won the last two Xfinity Series titles, so not being in the playoffs would be weird to him. So, the Richard Childress Racing driver was there in prime position to take it. Reddick, made a great maneuver on the Daytona Superstretch to go from third to first. But, while in Turn 3, he decided to go up the banking to slide in front of Kyle Busch to pick up drafting help.
Unfortunately, Reddick got up there too hot and got into the SAFER barrier as a result. That sparked a 10 car melee behind.
Busch, was collected saying that’s 2020 for you. He’s winless in all 26 races run gigs season and frustrated about it. For the second time in two weeks at Daytona, he was close to a win.
Busch, said Reddick’s move was a slide job gone wrong.
“Slide job gone bad,” said Busch. “I just hate it for these Interstate Batteries guys. We had a good Camry all night long and made our way to the front multiple times, and we were leading a lot of laps there. Just waiting for the end, for business to pick up, and I guess business was starting to pick up, but (he was) just not clear. I saw him coming and even checked up, and we still ran into each other.”
Ryan Newman called it a terrible job and that Reddick just ran out of talent.
“It seems like you can win a couple of Xfinity championships and still stick your head where the sun don’t shine when the time comes right,” said Newman. “I’m just disappointed. It was kind of an average race sitting there waiting with our Guaranteed Rate Ford and never got a chance to show how good a car we had.
“I was happy that everybody stayed calm for a long time, but we proved all it takes it one goofball to make a mistake.”
Like Newman, Busch’s teammate Erik Jones’ playoff hopes were dashed by that maneuver too.
“I mean, he wasn’t clear,” said Jones. “Kyle let him in, number one, to not cause a wreck, and then he ran into the wall and wrecked everybody behind him. It’s frustrating. He had way too much speed to try to make that move up the hill with the grip that is left in the tires; we had a lot of laps on them. It’s unfortunate. He wrecked us a Pocono, and then to have this happen, two times making racing moves that were not going to work out.
“Unfortunately, it was to the detriment of us today. The Auto-Owners Camry was pretty fast. We were up front. I think we were running third when we got wrecked, so we had a shot. We needed to win — we were there, we just didn’t get it done.”
Reddick didn’t disagree with then either. He took responsibility saying that he was too aggressive on that Lap 153 incident and that he would have been mad too if he were in their shoes.
“That move really hurt my chances to win the race, bringing the caution out, causing that wreck,” said Reddick. “So, they’re right to be upset. If someone made that move on me, I’d be pretty upset too. I was just too late. I was clear for a second, and when I slid up, it messed the 18 (Busch) up and caused a big wreck back there. Yeah, I totally understand them being upset.
“Obviously, there was not a lot of laps left, and when I did make the move that I was hoping I was going to complete without causing a wreck, it would have put us in a good spot to the end, it would have kept the restart from happening and the uncertainty that ended up getting us further back in the pack and causing another wreck that I was in. Yeah, it was a really stupid move.”