Auto racing roundup: Tyler Reddick latest first-time Cup Series winner

AP photo by Morry Gash / Richard Childress Racing driver Tyler Reddick celebrates the first win of his NASCAR Cup Series career Sunday in victory lane at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. - Tyler Reddick needed a little longer than expected to win in the NASCAR Cup Series.

The circumstances of his first triumph made it worth the wait.

The 26-year-old California native won Sunday afternoon at Road America by outdueling Chase Elliott, who won last year's race at the Wisconsin course and currently leads the points standings. Reddick's breakthrough came in the 92nd start of a Cup Series that included five second-place finishes.

"It was just a huge sense of relief," Reddick said.

He drove the Richard Childress Racing No. 8 Chevrolet to the finish line 3.304 seconds ahead of Elliott, who started in pole position and led for 36 of the 62 laps. Elliott, the 2020 Cup Series champion, was seeking the eighth road course win of his Cup Series career, which would tie Tony Stewart for second place and be one victory behind Jeff Gordon's record.

"He's been the guy that's won more road courses the last couple of years than anybody," Reddick said.

Third place went to Kyle Larson - the reigning Cup Series champion and Elliott's teammate at Hendrick Motorsports - while Trackhouse Racing drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suárez followed to give Chevrolet a sweep of the top five. Chris Buescher was sixth for RFK Racing in the highest-finishing Ford, while Toyota's best showing was Joe Gibbs Racing's Martin Truex Jr. in 13th.

Elliott and Reddick were both well ahead of the field before making pit stops with 20 laps remaining. Elliott had a narrow lead over Reddick as they came out of the pits, but Reddick eventually pulled ahead of him as they headed back toward the front of the pack.

Reddick took the lead for good on the 47th lap, after all the cars that had been ahead of him made their pit stops.

"I just let him stay close enough to pressure me there while we had decent tires and never could get enough of a gap," Elliott said. " I was gaining a gap there a couple times and made a couple mistakes and let him get back close enough to get me out of sync, and then after that just started struggling."

Elliott, last year's winner at Road America, was seeking his third win of the season, having won a week earlier at Nashville Superspeedway and in May at Delaware's Dover Motor Speedway. Nobody has won more than two races through the first 18 events, the first time there hasn't been at least a three-time winner this late in the Cup Series schedule.

Instead, Reddick became the fifth first-time winner this year.

Each of the first three road course races this year has had a first-time winner, with Reddick breaking through after Chastain won in March at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and Suárez won last month at California's Sonoma Raceway. The other first-time winners were Austin Cindric in the season-opening Daytona 500 and Chase Briscoe in March at Phoenix Raceway.

Hours before the United States' 246th birthday celebration, Reddick joined the club.

"What better place than Road America?" he said. "I love the fans. I love this race track. Being here Fourth of July weekend is just so special."

Reddick, who won back-to-back season championships in the second-tier Xfinity Series in 2018-19, seemed on the verge of getting his elusive first Cup Series victory a number of times before Sunday.

Perhaps the most notable example came in April at Tennessee's Bristol Motor Speedway. Reddick and Briscoe were dueling for the lead that night when the two cars spun out of control, enabling Kyle Busch to slip past them for the victory. Reddick also led for 90 laps at Auto Club Speedway earlier this year but ended up 24th at the California track after William Byron ran him into wall.

"This year's been one mistake away from greatness all year long," Reddick said. "We finally did it today."

Briscoe won the first stage Sunday, while Ryan Blaney took the second stage.

"I think we were good enough to win," Elliott said. "Those always hurt."

Elliott, from Dawsonville, Georgia, will try to win a Cup Series race at his home track for the first time next Sunday, when the Cup Series visits Atlanta Motor Speedway.

photo AP photo by Morry Gash / Tyler Reddick gets around a turn during Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Reddick outdueled Chase Elliott to become the series' fifth first-time winner this season.

IndyCar: McLaughlin's moment

LEXINGTON, Ohio - Scott McLaughlin's second win as an IndyCar driver may go down as one of the most special moments of his career on any circuit.

The 29-year-old New Zealander won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with his nervous parents watching from pit lane. McLaughlin had not seen his family in 31 months because of the coronavirus pandemic, but his parents finally were able to leave New Zealand in May to attend the Indianapolis 500.

Wayne and Diane McLaughlin booked their trip to maximize their visas and planned nine IndyCar races on their tour of the United States. It took four to see their only son drive his Team Penske entry to victory lane.

When he earned his first IndyCar triumph by winning the season opener from the pole position in February on the street course in St. Petersburg, Florida, he had to celebrate with his parents via FaceTime. McLaughlin won three consecutive V8 Supercars championships in Australia from 2018-20 before moving to IndyCar last year.

"It's not just to be together, but just to win with them here, that's the coolest thing," he said. "Even in Australia, I didn't really win with them a lot at the race. It just means so much. They're the people that shaped me as a person."

IndyCar champion Alex Palou finished second for Chip Ganassi Racing and Honda, and Will Power had a brilliant run to put a second Penske driver on the podium. Power had been penalized in qualifying, started 21st, spun in the opening laps and charged through the field to finish third.

The race had the potential to upend the points standings after the top three drivers - Indianapolis 500 winner Marcus Ericsson, Power and Penske teammate Josef Newgarden - all had poor qualifying performances. It put Pato O'Ward, who was fourth in standings, on the pole with the chance to close major ground in the title hunt.

Instead, he and Arrow McLaren SP teammate Felix Rosenqvist were two of the five Chevrolets knocked out early, and Ericsson retained his hold on first. He leads Power by 20 points.

photo AP photo by Jenna Fryer / Team Penske driver Scott McLaughlin poses with his parents, Wayne and Diane, after winning Sunday's IndyCar race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Formula One: Big day for Sainz

SILVERSTONE, England - The first victory of Carlos Sainz Jr.'s Formula One career came in a British Grand Prix that began with a frightening first-lap crash and ended with intense wheel-to-wheel battles for the podium positions.

Sainz was in the lead with Charles Leclerc close behind, and while Ferrari at first said they were "free to fight," the Italian team then asked Sainz to let Leclerc past to avoid losing time to Lewis Hamilton.

But a safety car came out and Ferrari brought Sainz into the pits for fresher soft tires with better grip. Leclerc was left on older, hard tires, and Sainz soon passed his teammate to regain the lead and pull away for his first victory in his 150th F1 start.

He had finished second or third 11 times before winning and was a frustratingly close second to reigning series champion and season points leader Max Verstappen at the previous F1 race in Canada.

Sergio Pérez passed Hamilton and Leclerc after the restart and finished second behind Sainz. Hamilton was briefly second after passing both Pérez and Leclerc in a three-wide move, but he couldn't hold position and dropped back to fourth. Hamilton then surged past Leclerc to win the fierce fight for third.

Verstappen dropped out of the lead with damage to his Red Bull after running over debris, struggled for grip and wound up seventh.

The race was red flagged almost as soon as it began when a crash at the first corner left Zhou Guanyu and Alex Albon needing medical treatment. Zhou was treated at the circuit's medical center, and Alfa Romeo said he was not badly injured, while Williams said Albon had been taken to a hospital by helicopter for "precautionary checks."