NASCAR: Tyler Reddick wins an absolute mess of a Texas race

Tyler Reddick got his third win of the season in a race at Texas Motor Speedway that NASCAR wants to forget as soon as possible.

Sunday's race at the 1.5-mile oval was nothing short of a mess. The tires weren't reliable, there was a rain delay of nearly an hour and passing wasn't plentiful. Teams were basically playing roulette with their tires and hoping they wouldn't be the next to crash because of a tire failure. Sunday's race set a Texas record with 17 cautions. Many of them were due to tire failures.

While numerous drivers had tire problems throughout the course of the race, three drivers crashed out from the lead because of tire problems. Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick were leading when flat tires sent them into the outside wall. And NASCAR inexplicably didn’t penalize William Byron for spinning Denny Hamlin under caution after Truex crashed because of his flat tire.

Hamlin was running second when Truex crashed out with fewer than 75 laps to go. Byron, apparently unhappy with a move Hamlin had pulled on him laps earlier, ran into the back of him after Truex’s crash. NASCAR said that Hamlin didn’t maintain minimum speed and made him line back up outside the top 10. Meanwhile, it didn’t penalize Byron at all for the incident and let him keep his track position.

It was a bizarre officiating decision by NASCAR to let a driver who dumped another under caution to gain a position and penalize the driver he spun. At minimum, NASCAR should have allowed Hamlin to keep his spot in the top five. It could have also sent Byron to the end of the field on the lead lap for his maneuver.

Instead, it did neither.

Byron admitted after the race that he intentionally ran into Hamlin, though he didn't mean to spin him. Hamlin, meanwhile, theorized over his in-car radio if Byron's lack of penalty meant that a teammate to a driver racing for the title at Phoenix in November would have license to spin a title rival out under caution.

Texas was the second consecutive week of tire problems for NASCAR. Drivers and teams struggled to find tire reliability at Bristol a week ago as tire issues plagued drivers throughout the race. The theme continued at Texas despite the tracks’ lack of similarities. Teams and drivers clearly couldn’t count on a tire to be reliable enough to last through a fuel run without having a failure.

Elliott didn’t blame tire provider Goodyear for the mess.

“I’m not sure that Goodyear is at fault," Elliott said. "Goodyear always takes the black eye, but they’re put in a really tough position by NASCAR to build a tire that can survive these types of racetracks with this car. I wouldn’t blame Goodyear.”

The tire problems harkened back to the 2008 Brickyard 400 — a race that effectively ended fun of NASCAR racing on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. NASCAR was forced to throw scheduled cautions during that race because the tire didn’t have any durability. NASCAR didn’t schedule any tire cautions on Sunday, but you couldn’t have blamed them if they did. What transpired on the track without those cautions reflected well on no one.

Just look at what Truex said after he was checked and released from the infield care center.

No playoff drivers have won yet

No playoff driver has gotten a win over the first four races of the 10-race postseason. Reddick started the postseason among the 16 drivers in the playoffs but was eliminated after last week’s race at Bristol.

Reddick’s win extends the unprecedented winless streak for playoff drivers in the postseason and means that no drivers are guaranteed into the third round of the playoffs yet. The final two races of the third round are at Talladega and the Charlotte Roval, two of the typically more unpredictable tracks on the NASCAR schedule.

Cody Ware's scary crash

Cody Ware was treated and released from NASCAR’s infield care center at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday after a scary crash during the NASCAR Cup Series race.

Ware’s car went head-on into the outside wall in Turn 4 and then started heading toward pit road. Ware’s car slammed into pit road just feet from an opening in the wall and came to rest further down pit road. Ware was able to climb from his car after the wreck.

Ware appeared to hit the outside wall after his car got loose and he overcorrected. It isn’t clear how his car headed straight for pit road.

Ware’s crash was among many incidents at Texas on Sunday. Drivers like Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Christopher Bell all had incidents in Turns 3 and 4. Here’s what it looked like from the on-board camera.

Points standings

1. Joey Logano, 3,071

2. Ross Chastain, 3,059

3. William Byron, 3,058

4. Kyle Larson, 3,057

5. Ryan Blaney, 3,056

6. Denny Hamlin, 3,049

7. Daniel Suarez, 3,045

8. Chase Elliott, 3,045

9. Chase Briscoe, 3,045

10. Austin Cindric, 3,038

11. Christopher Bell, 3,020

12. Alex Bowman, 3,019

Race results

1. Tyler Reddick

2. Joey Logano

3. Justin Haley

4. Ryan Blaney

5. Chase Briscoe

6. Erik Jones

7. William Byron

8. Brad Keselowski

9. Kyle Larson

10. Denny Hamlin

11. Michael McDowell

12. Daniel Suarez

13. Ross Chastain

14. Corey LaJoie

15. Austin Cindric

16. Ty Dillon

17. Austin Dillon

18. Harrison Burton

19. Kevin Harvick

20. Ty Gibbs

21. Noah Gragson

22. Landon Cassill

23. Garrett Smithley

24. Aric Almirola

25. Bubba Wallace

26. BJ McLeod

27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

28. Todd Gilliland

29. Alex Bowman

30. Chris Buescher

31. Martin Truex Jr.

32. Chase Elliott

33. Cody Ware

34. Christopher Bell

35. Cole Custer

36. Kyle Busch