NASCAR: Tyler Reddick didn’t clinch a playoff spot

Tyler Reddick, Richard Childress Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick, Richard Childress Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

Tyler Reddick finally earned his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory on Sunday afternoon at Road America, but he didn’t necessarily clinch a playoff spot.

In his 92nd career NASCAR Cup Series start, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick finally broke through and found victory lane for the first time on Sunday afternoon at Road America, holding off road course ace Chase Elliott to win the Kwik Trip 250.

Entering the 62-lap race around the 14-turn, 4.048-mile (6.515-kilometer) natural terrain road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the driver of the #8 Chevrolet had five career runner-up finishes, and those five results made up half of his career top five efforts.

However, career win number one didn’t necessarily lock Reddick into the playoffs for the second straight season.

Reddick is the fifth first-time winner of the 2022 season, and he is the 13th overall winner.

There are still eight races remaining on the 26-race regular season schedule, so there is still a chance that the regular season ends with more than 16 different winners, in which case at least one of the winners would not qualify for the postseason.

The regular season champion, whether he wins a race or not, is locked into the playoffs, and so are the next 15 drivers who rank highest in wins. This means that all drivers who win more than one race are locked in, since there can be no more than 13 multi-race winners in the regular season.

In the event that there are more than 16 different regular season race winners, the tiebreaker to determine which single-race winners are awarded the remaining open playoff spots becomes points.

Sitting in 13th place in the point standings, Reddick currently ranks ahead of four of the other seven single-race winners. However, the four drivers who trail him all sit between 14th and 17th, and the gap from Reddick to the 17th place driver (Trackhouse Racing Team’s Daniel Suarez) is just 21 points.

So in the event that there are more than 16 regular season race winners, Reddick isn’t exactly in the safest of spots.

As for the possibility of the regular season ending with more than 16 different winners, it’s still relatively decent, despite the fact that it has never happened before.

There are two road course races left on the regular season schedule, and all three road course races so far this season have been won by drivers who had never previously won.

There is also a superspeedway “wild card” race at Daytona International Speedway scheduled to close out the regular season, and there is a pseudo-superspeedway race at the newly repaved Atlanta Motor Speedway scheduled to take place this coming Sunday afternoon.

Even setting aside the “wild card” tracks, there are still many candidates who could easily find victory lane before the playoffs begin. Seven full-time drivers who won last year haven’t yet done so in 2022, and five drivers who have finished runner-up at least once this year haven’t won.

3 possible landing spots for Josh Berry. dark. Next

Only one driver fits into both categories, meaning that 11 drivers who have not yet won this year either (a) won last year or (b) have finished in second place this year.