Back to News

May 12, 2024

Chris Buescher, Tyler Reddick collide at Darlington, exchange words post-race

DARLINGTON, S.C. — “We got run over.”

Related Story
Tyler Reddick, Chris Buescher make late contact battling for lead Tyler Reddick, Chris Buescher make late contact battling for lead

A second consecutive race where Chris Buescher looked destined for his first checkered flag of 2024 ended in bent fenders and flared tempers as Buescher and Tyler Reddick clashed in the closing laps at Darlington Raceway, ending with a face-to-face confrontation on pit road.

Buescher was walled by Reddick in a fight for the win in Sunday’s Goodyear 400 after Reddick dove to Buescher’s left in Turn 3. Reddick drifted high and contacted Buescher, who had nowhere to go but to bounce off the SAFER barrier to his right.

The result of the contact was a flat right-rear tire for Reddick and damage that forced Buescher to hit pit road, allowing Buescher’s teammate and RFK Racing co-owner Brad Keselowski to escape with the victory. Buescher ultimately finished 30th and Reddick 32nd.

MORE: Race results | Darlington photos

“Trying to be decent about it,” Buescher said after the race. “We had clean racing all day long and to get flat-out fenced like that, there’s no excuse. It’s just a poor decision and immature move. I don’t get it.”

Buescher was also a near-winner one week ago at Kansas Speedway, where Kyle Larson door-slammed the No. 17 RFK Racing Ford down the front stretch and nipped Buescher at the finish line by 0.001 seconds, the closest finish in NASCAR Cup Series history.

While Buescher’s career isn’t history-laden with disagreements with his competitors, that could change for the 31-year old.

“It about has to. We keep getting run into without hitting somebody else first,” Buescher said. “Struggle to understand the reason.

“I’ve had issues with hardly anybody out here. Growing up trying to race clean and be smart about it. I’ve had to fix my own race cars a lot growing up and I hate trying to fix noses or fix doors and I try to remember that for these men and women that work so hard on our cars to make them fast every week. You’re going to have times where you going to push and shove but can’t find a reason or an excuse for that.”

After Buescher unleashed his frustrations on him with a shove and a stern discussion, Reddick didn’t offer a defense for the contact and was apologetic after climbing out of his damaged No. 45 Toyota.

“I completely understand that. If I just would’ve took myself out of it, I had a flat, that’s a different story, but yeah he was going to win that race had I not tried that,” Reddick lamented. “I realized it wasn’t going to work. There was just no grip left and yeah I slid right into him and took us both out. I’m not happy about it.”

Reddick led a race-high 174 laps and won Stage 2. The final stint of Sunday’s showdown saw him in a fierce battle with both RFK Fords, which ended in Brad Keselowski’s first triumph since 2021.

With 30 laps to go, Keselowski forced Reddick into the wall off Turn 4 that allowed Buescher to take a daring move down toward the pit-road barrier to overtake both the Nos. 6 and 45.

Reddick worked his way back to Buescher before the contact with 10 laps to go.

“I was hoping I was going to surprise him, but he was ready for it,” Reddick said. “And yeah, I tried to back out of it, but it’s Darlington man. There’s no grip left.”

Buescher still takes positives from his effort today. Leading 21 laps and scoring points in both stages has the No. 17 team continuing its upward trajectory following the runner-up result last weekend at Kansas.

“There’s a fight in this team right now that no single on-track action is going to take away from us,” Buescher said.

The Prosper, Texas native will eventually celebrate his teammate’s first victory in 110 races, but Buescher admitted the end “selfishly, is hurting me.”

“We’ve been able to race respectfully for our careers and we try to do that week in and week out and it’s not getting us anywhere right now,” Buescher said. “Just to get wiped out like that, it’s a shame. That’s a big shame.

“On the flip side, I’m stoked for Brad and the 6 bunch and RFK to get a win here, that’s huge. But right now, selfishly, I’m mad for my team and our group. We had a great day there and we didn’t get anything to show for it.”

Contributing: Staff report