DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tyler Reddick edged Elliott Sadler at the checkered flag to win Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway in a fifth overtime finish.
Reddick scored his first career win for JR Motorsports and had to survive a wild day and his teammate in Sadler to take the victory in a photo finish.
The finish was the closest in NASCAR history and recorded at 0.0004-seconds.
“Feels amazing,” Reddick said. “This was a hell of a way to start off the year with JR Motorsports. … This is a hell of way to get my second win, my first win with JR Motorsports.”
Reddick took the ride driven to the championship last year by William Byron and now with his win he is already qualified for the playoffs.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity,” Reddick said. “It’s just going to take a little bit of time to het honed in. I guess we’re getting along good right off the bat. We were having some problems all day long. We were having some issues with the motor. I don’t know exactly what it was, but it held on all race long. It was getting worse at the end.”
After the opening two stages featured intense racing with drivers racing three and sometimes four wide, the final stage erupted into a volcano of accidents and wrecks. The continuous string of incidents necessitated a record five overtime periods before Reddick was able to outlast the day and Sadler for the win.
Sadler, who was penalized along with teammate Chase Elliott earlier in the race for locking bumpers, had to also rebound from a late spin that triggered the race going into overtime. He came up one position short of making an incredible comeback.
“Been close here a lot of times,” Sadler said. “But this one hurt a lot because you didn’t know who won. I don’t know how many more starts I’ll have at this racetrack and I’ve been fortunate, good equipment. I really want to get one of the trophies at this place.”
As for the penalty assessed for locking bumpers, Sadler was not entirely sure about the call.
“I guess I’ve got a misunderstanding of the rule,” he said. “I’ll get a phone call Monday and they’ll explain it to me. I thought you could lock bumpers to gain a position.”
The 100th series race sponsored by Xfinity was scheduled for 130 laps but wound up going 143 thanks to the multiple overtimes.
Ryan Reed, Kaz Grala and Garrett Smithley rounded out the top five.
Spencer Gallagher, Ryan Truex, Daniel Suarez, Ross Chastain and Brandon Jones completed the first 10 finishers. Eight of the top 10 were Xfinity Series regulars.
The race’s 12 cautions were a series track record. There was also one red flag displayed.
Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott won the race’s first two stages.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series now heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway next Saturday afternoon.