NASCAR Driver Tyler Reddick Deserves Props for De-Escalating This Pit Lane Almost-Fight

tyler reddick and chris buescher confrontation
NASCAR Pit Lane Confrontation Is Oddly DiplomaticNASCAR / YouTube

Tyler Reddick and Chris Buescher's late fight for the win in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington ended with contact and both falling out of contention. In typical stock car racing fashion, Buescher responded post-race by tracking down Reddick on pit lane for a confrontation. That's when things get weird, mostly because of what does not happen next.

The crash itself happened with ten laps to go. Reddick dives into the corner on the inside as Buescher is already making contact with the wall, but Reddick slides up the track and back into Buescher's car. The hit slows both drivers and certainly keeps either from winning, dropping Buescher to third in the final order and derailing Reddick's day with a flat tire. Brad Keselowski, who is a co-owner of Chris Buescher's No. 17 car in addition to being the owner-driver of his own car, takes the lead after the contact and goes on to win the race.


Afterward, Buescher approached Reddick on the pit lane in the sort of moment that typically leads to some shouting while pit crews hold drivers back, sometimes even a punch or two. Instead, as a surprisingly clear video from NASCAR shows, Reddick took the blame for the crash and diffused the situation.

The video shows Buescher approaching and grabbing Reddick, asking "What was that? I had raced you clean." Reddick immediately responds, "I know, I fucked up, I'm sorry... As soon as I knew it wasn't going to work, I backed out. The last thing I wanted to do was wreck your car." Buescher points out that he does not have a sticker indicating a win on his car, signifying all-important advancement to the playoffs in NASCAR's arcane championship system, and tells Reddick that he "needs to be better." Buescher then walks away, ending the confrontation there.

At the halfway mark of the regular season, Reddick is currently sixth in the championship and effectively locked into the playoffs by virtue of a win at Talladega. Buescher is currently in the field on points in 12th, but still does not have the in-season security that comes with a race win to lock his place in the playoff field. A win on Sunday would have allowed Buescher to spend the next 13 races preparing for the playoffs with a guaranteed spot in the field, a luxury Reddick and his 23XI Racing team already have in hand.

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