Tyler Reddick & The Big Machine

   It was a hot one in Texas as Xfinity teams prepared for the SRS Distribution 250, with Noah Gragson continuing his hot streak as the pole sitter, the very first pole of his career. Three previous champions were present in the field with William Byron and Tyler Reddick joining the company of defending Xfinity Series champion, Daniel Hemric. Points leader Ty Gibbs would drop to the rear after a tire change, joining Landon Cassill (for going to a backup car) and Anthony Alfredo (for repairing body panels). 

     At the drop of the green flag, Gragson quickly shot to the lead with a huge launch, third-place Austin Hill quickly following behind and settling into the second-place position, with side-by-side battles throughout the rest of the field.  Tyler Reddick found himself fighting loose conditions early on into the race, dropping from second to 13th place in a four-lap span. Meanwhile, Justin Allgaier shot from sixth up to second in a matter of eight laps, challenging leader Gragson. With 18 laps to go Allgaier would use the #35 lap car as a pick in order to take over the lead from teammate Gragson, just as the caution flag would fall for driver #6 Ryan Vargas.

      At the restart, Gragson would side draft off of Allgaier’s #7 machine in order to gain back the lead, with rowdiness fluttering throughout the field, with Daniel Hemric making contact with the wall. The caution would fall moments later, however, for a spin from CJ McLaughlin. Gragson had the advantage on the restart, taking the lead from his teammate Allgaier, who found himself battling to keep the second place from Brandon Jones. However, the stage would end under caution, as McLaughlin would once again spin, while Ty Gibbs would spin moments later after contact with car #27 Jeb Burton. Gragson would win JR Motorsports’ seventh consecutive stage win this season. 

     On pit road the leaders came down, with Jones leading off pit road, stage one winner Gragson losing four spots, meanwhile, Mayer had to come back down pit road for a new transponder but would not lose positions. A new cast of characters found themselves at the front of the field as the previous front runners now resided mid-field. At the drop of the green, Josh Berry quickly grabbed hold of the lead position, Landon Cassill and Tyler Reddick fighting for second behind him, Reddick with the advantage. After pitting at the stage end, Allgaier found himself inside the top-15, but by lap 54 was back into the top-five. 17 laps into the stage Sheldon Creed found himself sliding his back end into the wall, prompting the caution flag to wave. 

     At the restart, Josh Berry quickly regain his lead, as Reddick and Byron battled for position behind him. The #08 of David Starr went for a spin back in the field but was able to gather it up, keeping the race green. As the laps in the stage began to wind down, the battle for the lead became a close one with JR Motorsports teammates, Berry and Allgaier battling close for the stage win, Reddick, Byron, and Gragson not too far behind. Ultimately, the stage win would go to Josh Berry, now the eighth consecutive stage win for JR Motorsports this season. 

     At the drop of the green in the final stage, Berry and Allgaier both put their best foot forward as they battled for the lead, but disaster struck as Berry got loose spinning out, Gragson and Gibbs soon getting collected in the scuffle, amongst others. With under 75 laps to go, the race was back underway with Allgaier easily taking the lead over William Byron, Ryan Truex coming into the picture battling for second place. The yellow flagged waved once again with just 70 laps to go, as Noah Gragson spun after a tire blew due as a result of damage received previously from the last caution, ending his day after a strong performance earlier in stage one.

     As the green flag waved once again, Justin Allgaier continued to dominate as he regained his lead over Wiliam byron once again, as Sam Mayer stepped into the picture to battle for second place. Meanwhile, drivers were three wide back into the field all fighting hard for position.  With 55 laps to go, Byron managed to snag the lead away from Allgaier, making contact in the process. A few short laps later, Allgaier’s left rear tire would blow out as a result of the contact, signaling the caution flag to wave. As leaders came to pit road, the winning picture became redrawn with new players entering the mix, Austin Hill and Brandon Jones sitting on the front row, with Hill having the advantage after going back under green. Green flag conditions didn’t stick around long though, as Ryan Sieg and David Starr spun, bringing out the ninth caution of the race. 

     With under 40 laps to go, racing became intense as drivers battled hard with one another, Hill taking the lead, Jones and Byron battling back and forth for second place, with other key players Reddick, Mayer, Cassill, and Ryan Truex challenging for positions. The caution came out again for Ryan Sieg who spun, prompting yet another restart. In a surprise turn of events, Jones was able to hang on and steal the lead away from Hill in a beat-up #19 Joe Gibbs Racing car. Just as Tyler Reddick was able to squeeze on by Jones though, taking the lead, the caution came out as a huge wreck ensued from deep within the field, JJ Yeley taking a huge hit, but safely walking away. Other drivers involved in the collision included Patrick Emerling and Jesse Iwuji.

     After a clean up from the 11th caution of the race, racing was back underway with the lead being nabbed by Reddick after a hefty push from William Byron. As the laps began to window down, AJ Allmendinger began to fall back into the field, making contact with Allgaier, meanwhile, Josh Berry made contact with the wall while battling teammate Sam Mayer. With ten to go, Tyler Reddick held a stronghold on the lead as Hill, Mayer, and Allgaier battled hard for a chance to catch the #48 Big Machine Racing Chevy. But no one was a match for Tyler Reddick and the big machine. William Byron would come home second, and Sam Mayer third after domination all day from JR Motorsports, with Justin Allgaier and Austin Hill rounding out the top-five. 

Featured image credits to @bigmachineracing on Instagram.

Published by Gianna Lashley - Nicholas

Gianna "Gi" Lashley - Nicholas is a 19-year-old writer from New Jersey. Her favorite drivers include Ryan Blaney, Myatt Snider, and Christian Eckes. You can find her on Twitter @basicallygi as well as @basicallygi23 on Instagram. She is a writer for Pit Box Press.

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