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Former teammates move on from Kansas incident

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Lost in the excitement of the closest finish in NASCAR history last weekend at Kansas Speedway was the last-lap contact between former teammates Tyler Reddick and Auston Dillon.

The result was Dillon sliding through the infield grass to a 25th-place finish. Reddick placed 20th.

This was not the first such incident between the two, who were teammates at Richard Childress Racing from 2019-22. Last summer at Pocono, Dillon threw his helmet at Reddick’s car after they made contact and Dillon crashed.

Darlington’s Cup race closes out NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend.

Dillon said Saturday that he doesn’t see last weekend’s incident with Reddick in the same light as their Pocono contact.

Dillon explained to NBC Sports what happened: “I got tight off Turn 4 racing there at the end of the race and was going to have to lift or smoke the wall. I lift a little bit and then Tyler had a heck of a run and turned me. I wasn’t really frustrated with Tyler as much as our race car.

“I should have been able to make that corner because the air wasn’t bad in front of me. I just got tight and it would have been nice if he would have lifted. He apologized afterwards. I said it would have been nice for a lift, but in the same sentence I would hope that with new tires we would have been able to make that corner. Nothing really there other than the fact that I wish we could have made the corner.”

Here is what Reddick had to say about the incident:

“Austin and Corey (Heim) were racing side-by-side, and I went to the top lane to try to have a good run off the corner and Austin just checked up more than I was expecting him to,” Reddick said. “Yeah, I flat out wrecked him. I just made a horrible day that much worse, to be honest with you. I cost myself spots. I cost him a race car and him a top 20. It was just icing on the cake for a rough day.”

Reddick admitted it was “tough” talking to Dillon because this wasn’t their first incident recently.

“A few weeks prior at Texas, we were battling on a restart and we came together,” Reddick said. “Thankfully, we didn’t wreck, but we came together there. I kind of put him in a bad spot and then Kansas, I didn’t really put him in a spot, I ran in the back of him.

“You never want to have a trend like that with anybody, let alone someone that was your teammate for a number of years.”