- Associated Press
Sunday, September 25, 2022

FORT WORTH, Texas — Tyler Reddick opened the round of 12 in NASCAR’s playoff with a victory at Texas on Sunday, winning a week after being one of the first four Cup drivers knocked out of title contention.

After none of the contenders won the first three races of the playoffs — a first in any round in this postseason format — the trend continued with the eliminated Reddick leading 53 of the final 54 laps on a long race day that went into the night.

Reddick survived an extended race that had a track-record 17 cautions, a record 36 lead changes, a 56-minute red flag for lightning and multiple tire issues leading to crashes — including playoff contenders Chase Elliott, the points leader going into the second round, and Christopher Bell.

Joey Logano was the runner-up, finishing 1.19 seconds back. Logano took over the points lead, by 12 over Ross Chastain.

Elliott, who entered the round of 12 as the points leader, had a fiery finish after contact with the outside wall in Turn 4 when leading just past the halfway mark of the race.

Flames were already visible from under the right side of the No. 9 Chevrolet when he got onto the frontstretch, then turned across and came to a stop in the middle of the infield, where Elliott climbed out uninjured as the car was being engulfed by flames. He finished 32nd.

Non-playoff drivers Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. also had tire issues when leading the race at the 1 1/2-mile track.

Bell, the Oklahoma native who considers Texas his home track, couldn’t recover from a second tire issue that led to his race-ending crash after finishing only 136 laps. He was the only driver to finish in the top five in all three races in the first round of this postseason.

Non-playoff driver Justin Haley was third, ahead of contenders Ryan Blaney and Chase Briscoe.

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