Tyler Reddick captured the Cup Series race at Road America on July 3. This was his first career win at the top level, and it broke two historic winless streaks dating back to the 2006 Cup Series season.
The first streak highlights the final season that Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the No. 8 Chevrolet. The Hall of Famer won the spring race at Richmond Raceway, his last before he headed over to Hendrick Motorsports. Fast-forward to the 2022 season, and Reddick took the No. 8 Chevrolet back to Victory Lane after building up a four-second lead over Chase Elliott.
“I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but man, this year’s been one step, one mistake away from greatness all year long,” Reddick, a two-time Xfinity Series champion, told NBC Sports after exiting his stock car. “And we finally did it today.”
Reddick is now the 13th Cup Series driver to reach Victory Lane in the 2022 season. He also continues a Next Gen streak by becoming the third driver to win his first career race at a road course. Ross Chastain scored his first win at Circuit of the Americas while Daniel Suarez captured his first at Sonoma Raceway.
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The Closer Last Captured a Road Course for RCR
The second winless streak that Reddick snapped involves Kevin Harvick. The Closer started his Cup Series career with Richard Childress Racing, and he won 23 races for the organization before departing for Stewart-Haas Racing after the 2013 season.
One of these wins, which took place in 2006, was at Watkins Glen International. Harvick started seventh overall and led 28 laps before holding off a road course ace in Tony Stewart on the closing laps. He reached Victory Lane for the second time in the first 22 races.
Several other RCR drivers have attempted to win a road course race for the organization, but all failed until the 2022 season. Reddick held off the new road course king and captured his first career Cup Series race. He also snapped the winless streak that lasted 16 years.
This Win Significantly Affected Harvick’s Season
There were many Cup Series drivers that were happy to see Reddick score his first career victory. The list includes Brad Keselowski, Ross Chastain, and Kyle Larson. Harvick may have a different opinion after seeing the playoff standings.
The driver of the No. 4 entered the Road America weekend with the final transfer spot. He was above teammate Aric Almirola, and he was in a position to reach the playoffs on points for the second consecutive season. The 10th-place finish on July 3 only added more points to his season total.
Reddick’s win completely changed the situation. Harvick had a good points day, but he is no longer above the cutline. The win bumped Reddick above the cutline and dropped the 2014 Cup Series champion one spot lower. Harvick is now 20 points below Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell, who holds the final transfer spot.