OK, admit it.
Minutes after Chase Briscoe hip-checked Tyler Reddick out of the most important second of his racing life, simply yards from the end of the Meals Metropolis Dust Race on Sunday night time at Bristol Motor Speedway, you anticipated Reddick to go full Ty Gibbs.
You understand, get out of the automobile on pit street and let his anger overflow, possibly with a couple of well-placed fists. That’s how Xfinity Sequence driver Gibbs did it earlier this month at Martinsville when his probability at victory was snuffed by a last-lap bump from Sam Mayer.
Gibbs exited his automobile and delivered a few punches that left Mayer with a black eye. But it surely additionally value Gibbs $15,000 for what NASCAR termed a “behavioral infraction.”
That’s the NASCAR we all know, proper? Battle, drama and a struggle create a stir within the web chatrooms, and you recognize deep down the governing physique loves the eye.
Nicely, that’s not the sport Tyler Reddick performed Sunday night time.
His victory ruined within the last nook when Briscoe’s Hail Mary try at a slide job was a bump and spin for each, Reddick had each purpose to seek out the man who was in charge and have some trustworthy phrases. Which he did.
However get this: Reddick didn’t think about Briscoe the villain. As an alternative, the previous seemed inside and blamed himself greater than the opposite man.
“I don’t assume I did the whole lot proper,” Reddick mentioned coolly. “I ought to have accomplished just a little bit higher job. I shouldn’t have let him get that shut. He ran me down.”
Yeah, however he was so near his first Cup victory. A chance like this doesn’t occur each week. Why so calm?
Right here’s why: Reddick is a racer. He is aware of what he misplaced, however he additionally understands what Briscoe was making an attempt to attain.
“We’re racing on grime, going for the ultimate transfer within the last nook,” Reddick mentioned. “It’s the whole lot as a driver you hope to battle for in his state of affairs. It does suck, however we have been in a position to end second. I ought to have accomplished a greater job and pulled away so he wasn’t (ready) to make that transfer.”
Briscoe instantly approached Reddick, apologized and shook Reddick’s hand.
“It’s all good,” Reddick informed his good friend and aggressive rival.
Reddick didn’t promise a get-even second in a future race nor stand behind a few beefy crewmen and shout “let me at him!” (Though a few crew members had that ready-to-rumble stance as Briscoe approached to apologize.)
Nor did Reddick even ship a type of Kyle Busch-like postrace interviews – “Yep. Nope. You noticed it.” – at a time when his feelings understandably might have been as scorching as his Chevy’s radiator.
Reddick owned the second.
He blamed himself for not driving clean-enough laps on the finish of the race, permitting Briscoe to get shut sufficient to strive a slide job that didn’t work.
Denny Hamlin was so struck by Reddick’s postrace demeanor that he wrote on Twitter: “Reddick making an attempt to get his straight-to-heaven go on this Easter Sunday.”
A lot of NASCAR’s recognition is constructed on drama, emotion and battle. However that doesn’t imply a present of respect and sophistication can’t have the identical impact. Each dramatic end doesn’t want a struggle as Act 2.
One of many large issues to emerge this season is the rise of younger drivers like Reddick and Briscoe. This gained’t be the final time they race door-to-door for a victory. Subsequent time, if Briscoe is main and Reddick chasing, don’t be shocked if Reddick pulls an identical transfer.
And if the end result is similar, let’s hope it’s adopted by extra respect and a handshake.
Comply with Kirby Arnold on Twitter @KirbyArnold