Creating parity in the NASCAR Cup Series season was one of the reasons why the sanctioning body moved forward with the release of Next Gen cars. After three points-paying races, the plan appears to be working considering that new names sit atop the laps-led leaderboard.
According to the Cup Series standings, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick has the most laps led at 90, which all took place at Auto Club Speedway. Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain is second with 83 from the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Both drivers are ahead of two-time champion Kyle Busch, who has led a total of 77 laps.
The fourth name on the list, Brad Keselowski, isn’t that much of a surprise considering all of his past success. However, he now drives for RFK Racing, which had struggled to contend for wins in recent seasons. The organization has made positive strides with the Gen 7 Ford Mustang and with Keselowski in his new role as a driver and co-owner, resulting in 67 laps led during the Daytona 500 and three at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
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Chastain Made History for Trackhouse Racing
The driver of the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet Camaro has not reached Victory Lane in his Cup Series career. He has come close with a runner-up at Nashville Superspeedway in 2021 and a third-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2022.
Chastain has, however, made history for the two-car operation. He won Stage 2 of the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube, which was the first stage win in Trackhouse Racing history, after taking the lead from a trio of Hendrick Motorsports drivers and building up a 0.70-second lead over Chase Elliott.
While Chastain did not secure the first win of his Cup Series career, he left Las Vegas Motor Speedway happy with his performance. The reason is that he showed progress while capitalizing on all of his previous efforts.
“Dream come true, Regan. This is what all the work is for,” Chastain told FOX Sports’ Regan Smith after the race. “This is why we train and try to build our whole lives and careers, once we realize we can race at this level is to have race cars like that. Couldn’t be more proud of Trackhouse, having ACM on the car, be able to go over, and hang out now tomorrow night.”
Reddick Has Struggled With Unexpected Issues
Reddick, who has two stage wins in 2022, has showcased speed during the season. He has also dealt with some unexpected issues due to the seat in the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro.
Reddick first created concern during the Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway on February 27 when he revealed over the radio that his left leg was falling asleep. He was having an issue with his seat, which affected his ability to focus.
The No. 8 team put in work throughout the week to fix this problem, but it resurfaced in a new way at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6. He actually had numbness in both of his legs during the Pennzoil 400. Though he still turned in a seventh-place finish.
“I really felt good about the changes we made,” Reddick said during his March 7 appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I thought that we had fixed it, but unfortunately, in our race, it got worse. I actually had numbness in both of my legs. I didn’t know where the gas pedal was that well, and I could not feel the brake at all.”
Reddick added that he will be in a lot of trouble if he doesn’t have the ability to use his brake at Phoenix, a one-mile track with several braking zones. However, he and “a lot of good people” have plans in place to address this issue ahead of the final west coast race so he can focus on another strong performance.