Briscoe, Reddick shake hands after last-lap run-in on Bristol dirt

BRISTOL, Tenn. — The post-race scene was a breath of fresh air as the dust settled.

On the final lap of Sunday’s dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Chase Briscoe robbed Tyler Reddick of his first career victory as he tried – and failed – to make a pass for the lead. The two cars went for a spin, and Kyle Busch sailed on by to capture the checkered flag. Reddick still managed to pull off second. Briscoe wound up 22nd.

As soon as he parked, Briscoe found Reddick on pit road.

“I walked over there with the intent if he punched me in the mouth, I deserved it, right?” Briscoe said. “So, I walked over there and just apologized. And he said, ‘I totally get it, I would have done the same thing.’ And he wasn’t mad at all.”

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It’s true. He wasn’t. Reddick smiled and shook Briscoe’s hand.

It was a sign of sportsmanship at a track where just last fall there was a much more heated post-race confrontation (shout-out to Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick).

“It’s Easter, for one,” Reddick said. “And two, I mean, I just look at it like I could have done a better job the last couple of laps to keep distance between us, a gap between us honestly.”

2022 April17 Briscoe Reddick 2 Main Image
Jeanne Vrabel | For NASCAR Digital Media

Reddick’s No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet held the front spot from Lap 151 to 249 of the 250-lap event. Briscoe inched his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford – which led 59 laps of its own earlier and won Stage 2 – closer and closer, especially after the restart on Lap 226.

Once the white flag waved, Briscoe knew his time was running out.

“When I got off (Turn) 2 and I was almost running him over down the back straightaway,” he said, “I wouldn’t have been able to go to sleep at night if I didn’t try to throw a slider.”

So, as Reddick and Briscoe rounded Turn 3 and headed into Turn 4, Briscoe shot his shot. He ducked on the inside of Reddick, started to slide up but was not clear of Reddick. Briscoe’s right rear clipped Reddick’s left rear.

WATCH: Briscoe, Reddick clash on final lap at Bristol

The rest is now history.

“He’s one of the guys I feel like you can race hard and he appreciates racing hard,” Briscoe said. “And I think he knows that I wasn’t even trying to wreck him. That was the last thing I wanted to do. I was sick to my stomach as soon as I saw I took him with me.

“I felt like I was probably going to spin out as soon as I got in there. He drove it in so hard trying to protect the slider from me, and that’s what he was supposed to do. It was my fault I hit him, so I hate it for him obviously. Glad he was still able to salvage something out of it.”

Briscoe earned his breakthrough victory earlier this season at Phoenix Raceway, so he’s already locked in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, this finish marked Reddick’s fourth career runner-up and ninth top five. It was his first and third, respectively, this year alone. He’s ranked 11th, currently within the 16-driver postseason field.

“I get it,” Reddick said. “I literally would have done the exact same thing if I was in his position, if I had gotten to the leader’s bumper coming into Turn 3 for the final time.”